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What FMs Can Do To Combat the ‘Sitting’ Epidemic


By Greg Zimmerman Design & Construction
Painful sitting at desk

You’ve heard the clever slogan: “Sitting is the new smoking.” Evidence is mounting that sitting for long periods actually is as harmful to health as smoking, and more facilities managers are tailoring their spaces to motivate occupants to move.

The way buildings and interior spaces affect the health and wellness of occupants is getting greater scrutiny, so creative managers are finding new and fun ways to encourage occupants to get up and move around, according to CBRE.

The average person sits for 13 hours per day, which is a “serious cause for concern,” according to CBRE, so providing stand-up or treadmill desks for occupants is one strategy that is gaining momentum. Additional tactics include creating meeting rooms without seats and encouraging occupants to conduct meetings while walking outside. Managers also can work with human resources and other departments to offer workout facilities, bike racks and showers to encourage biking and running to work, as well as to provide incentives for using a gym.

“An active workforce is a healthier, more productive workforce, and a more productive workforce strengthens bonds between building occupiers, tenants and talent,” according to CBRE. Increasingly, organizations hoping to attract and retain the best talent will need to offer initiatives focused on health and wellness.

If managers need guidance on where to start, the WELL Building Standard and Fitwel are great resources for strategies and best practices.

Greg Zimmerman is executive editor of Building Operating Management. Read his cover story on how buildings are tackling climate change.

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