Be first

If you are reading our blog/newsletter, that probably means you value your health and fitness and you are trying to minimize the negative effects of our modern work environments.

A big part of what keeps unhealthy habits so widespread is that we collectively accept them. But it only needs one person in the team to start a new trend in a better direction, as you have often seen with new tools or techniques related to your work itself.
Somebody starts using it, everybody sees the positive results and suddenly it’s the new standard.

Somebody needs to start that process though, and for fitness, it might as well be you.

Here’s what you can do:

Suggest moving / floor meetings
In my opinion, the most impactful thing a remote team can do.

Put your webcam/phone on a tripod, get some matting for the floor, and spend meeting away from the computer.
I’m a big proponent of floor work in general but especially if you don’t have to have your hands on your keyboard, it’s a great time to get some extra movement in and break up the desk posture.
If at first, it feels weird, try it out with one colleague at a time before introducing the idea in group meetings.

Insist on movement breaks
If you can’t make floor meetings happen you should at least insist on breaking up longer meetings with short movement snack.

It’s not just important for keeping our bodies feeling good, after 50min nobody in the meeting is fully paying attention anymore.

Taking a 5-minute break to shake out the tension, relax your eyes, and get some fresh air restores focus and productivity.
Be careful, this one does not work if you spend 5 minutes staring at your phone.

Tell them about your successes
You can’t push others to become healthier but you can certainly pull them.
Don’t become the annoying fitness guy in the team but at the same time don’t keep your progress to yourself.
Mentioning that you are feeling well and productive after implementing a certain habit or exercise routine does your team a great favor. Not only do they now have somebody to talk to should they be interested, they also get a reminder that we are all working on staying in shape and that they can talk about it, even in a work environment.

Propose a challenge

If you are a tight-knit team, you can go and push a little bit. Get your teammates to step their fitness game up with a group challenge.
Choose a program you follow together, pick a number of daily steps or movement breaks you want to achieve, or look into heart rate trackers that also give you an exertion score.
Whatever it is, make sure to keep the challenge realistic and health-focused.

Somebody has to be the first one in your team to champion a solution for the fitness issues everybody has.
I think it should be you.

Keep moving!