Wilkhahn dynamic office - Office for motion
An architectural blueprint to foster offices for motion
Both globally and locally, businesses are faced with the challenge of ensuring efficient information flows for everyone involved. In a knowledge-based era efficiency and motivation are vital. But one of the most pressing problems is often overlooked. Physical activity is lacking in office spaces and is affecting the health of more and more people increasingly frequently. Employers often respond by offering exercise programmes, back workouts, or health events. But a more logical move would appear to be to revert to physical activity in places where it has been systematically cut back, in other words to the buildings themselves. To achieve this goal a paradigm shift is required in terms of planning too. For decades office spaces were designed to be as comfortable and compact as possible. Now more physical activity is required.
Office furniture manufacturer Wilkhahn has published a brochure entitled “Office for Motion” which sums up the most important research and development principles. The publication provides a summary of the biological principles, results of current studies and new organisational and office concepts. Architects can receive it free of charge by contacting
Dynamic replaces static ergonomics
New principles in designing office environments could be promoting diversity instead of standardisation, encouraging a wider instead of a smaller sphere of operation, stimulating instead of kerbing the senses, increasing instead of decreasing motivation, offering a dynamic and not a static environment and nurturing social interaction rather preventing it.
In the interests of furnishing concepts, types of organisation and room structures that truly place people at centre stage for the first time in business history. When we’re talking about an integrated approach to triggering physical activity, the journey’s the reward!
Tips and tricks for healthier working in the office
Integrating posture changes into the organisation of workspace processes is more effective than offering extra fitness programmes in breaks and after work. Costly time-consuming initiatives aren’t the order of the day. Quite the opposite in fact. Small changes can have a major impact too… Perhaps you have your own ideas about how to encourage physical activity in the workplace? Then write to us, so that other people can benefit from your expertise:
- Use an office chair at your desk that inspires as diverse a range of movement as possible. Never tilt the backrest in a permanent position, but adjust the counter pressure so that the slightest of shifts in weight is sufficient to allow you to move and change posture.
- Spread the equipment and materials you need about. Position equipment and materials so that you occasionally have to get up. Don’t put the phone on the desk, but on the sideboard. Don’t place the wastepaper basket underneath the desk but at a distance in the corner of the room and don‘t deal with your post at your desk, but at the lectern.
- The shortest route in the building is not the best one, but the longest. This allows you to take exercise, reinforces the sense of being a community and ability to share expertise if you stop to say hello to other departments on the way.
- Don’t book the nearest conference room for meetings, but the one further away.
- Change the odd meeting held sitting down to one held while standing up. As a result, people will participate more keenly, meeting times will be shorter and efficiency greater.
- Banish ready-to-use rooms to the past. Invite people on training courses and in workshops to set the room up themselves.
- Put equipment in a central place. Single printers on desks are not just a convenient option, but are also harmful to health due to heat, noise and emissions of fine dust. Joint printers are much more economical, ensure people have to get up to use them and actually meet one another.
- If possible, spread computerbased work out, for example by creating dedicated spaces for Internet research.
- Take the stairs and not the lift. Climbing stairs boosts and gets your muscles and circulation going. If you restrict usage of lifts to people who have to use them, then voluntary physical activity is encouraged all the more.
- Develop a culture of physical activity. At desks or in meetings, ensure that people don‘t sit still for too long. Getting up, stretching and walking a few steps works miracles – and might even inject some energy into those long, drawn-out meetings.