While I was still working at the aforementioned organization I tried to start a yoga/meditation club that would meet daily for only 15 to 20 minutes (10 minutes of simple yoga poses and stretches and 5 minutes of meditation). My colleagues would often tell me they wanted to come but they felt too guilty to leave their desk to join me even though it was only for 15 minutes!
Perhaps, it would have been helpful if managers took the initiative to join us for our lunch Yoga. It might have given the encouragement and permission to the staff and the message that doing something positive for their bodies was a good thing and that feeling guilty was unnecessary. By participating, managers would have lead not only with their words but by their actions which we all understand to be a more powerful way of leading. Of course, change is not only a top-down process but a bottom-up one as well. Staff need to challenge their own ideas about what they want their work life experience to be and whether their health is worthy of attention, time, commitment and energy.
I believe that health is worth the effort. This is one of the major reasons I created the MOVE program; specifically to address the problem of being sedentary but generally to make it easier to do something positive and healthful for yourself at any point in your day: wherever you are , whatever you are doing, and whenever you are doing it.
I am thankful to Integra, the organization where I currently work which has been supportive in allowing me to be active at my workplace and to share some of my ideas with my colleagues. With only one or two minutes at a time, my colleagues and I take frequent breaks throughout the day to do pushups, squats, burpies, meditations, and yoga. Once we are done our one or two minutes we are back to work with our blood flowing with endorphins energized to continue on with our work. There is comradierie being built around the way we care for our bodies and the ways we support each other to be healthy and productive.
Now that is something to boast about!