Is Your Desk Job Slowly Killing You?
Employee productivity has increased dramatically due to technology and telecommuting in recent years. Yet, the downside is people have become less active.
Do you drive a desk?
This ESL lesson will improve your English speaking ability and recommend ways to avoid a sedentary workday.
Part I: Let’s Chat about the Photo
1. Is the man staring at his computer screen?
2. What could he be doing to improve his posture?
3. Would you say he’s a regular employee, manager or executive?
4. Why is he wearing shorts and sandals in the office?
5. How is your work station or cubicle organized differently from his?
Part II: Take the Survey and Talk About It
1. How many hours a day do you actually sit at your desk?
- 1 hour
- 1-3 hours
- 3-5 hours
- 5-7 hours
- 7-10 hours
- More than 10 hours
2. What time of day do you get sluggish or sleepy at work?
- Early mornings
- Late mornings
- Early afternoons
- Late afternoons
- Late evenings
3. Which symptoms (if any) have you experienced while sitting Choose all that apply.
- Leg cramps
- Sore back
- Muscle spasms
- Neck pain
- Sore wrists
- Tired eyes
4. I sit in front of computer at my home.
5. Have you had a job where you spent a lot of time standing up?
6. How many kilometres do you estimate you walk each day?
- More than 12
7. In your opinion, how many steps a day does a person need to be
considered fairly active?
- 5,000 steps
- 7,000 steps
- 10,000 steps
- 12,000 steps
- 15,000 steps
- 20,000 steps
8. Do you try to take walks away from your desk?
- Hardly ever
9. Many US companies are giving employees “stand up” desks. What do
you think about that idea?
- That’s a silly idea
- I’d consider it
10.What single thing could you start doing tomorrow to increase your
daily physical activity?
Part III: Share Your Opinions
Discuss the Photo
1. Where is this man probably heading?
2. Why isn’t he riding his bike instead of carrying it?
3. Shouldn’t he be wearing a helmet to protect his head?
The employees in your department have brainstormed a list of ideas to become more physically active during office hours.
Rank the ideas between 1-10 in terms of practicality. Select 1 for the “most practical” idea then down
through 10 for the “least practical” idea. Try to reach group consensus.
10 Ideas to Be More Active at Work
• Get up from your desk every 20 minutes and stretch
• Take the stairs up and down 4 floors instead of the elevator
• Walk around while talking on your cell phone
• Get off the subway/bus 1 stop earlier on route to the office and home
• Take 30 minute walks during lunch breaks
• Spend half of your team meetings standing up
• Install a few “stand up desks” for employees to try in the office
• Ask everyone buy a pedometer to monitor their daily steps
• Avoid escalators and elevators in public places
• Ask management to subsidize gym memberships