New research has shown definite links between the amount of time that people spend sitting and an increase in the incidence of a wide range of illnesses, from type 2 diabetes and heart disease to depression, among others. Not only do these illnesses seriously decrease quality of life, they also get pretty expensive when it comes to medical cover, medical leave and early retirement due to incapacity.
But what if your office is structured around the deskbound 9-5? There are several ways to combat this new “disease”, and adding a few of them into the day-to-day life of your employees could help to reduce early onset symptoms and improve overall health:
Get people moving
Easier said than done, we hear you cry. There are a few ways to get this done in a traditional office setup: get everyone to set alarms on their computers for a quick stretch or to fill up a glass of water. Then re-look at meetings: if it’s a small one-on-one, and you don’t need computers or screens, take a walk. A 20-30 minute walk around the block gives you some privacy, a healthy breath of air and a change of scenery.
You can also incentivise movement by linking employees’ fitness trackers to a company database and introducing an incentivised competition. You could even consider subsidising a tracker for those employees who lack one, but still want to get involved.
Take a look at your office setup. Firstly, look at those who work more than four hours at a stretch in front of a computer. Consider adding a flexible working space to the area, to allow people a standing option. This might seem frivolous, but experts say that adding in a standing element helps to reduce strain. It doesn’t have to be all day – even 10-15 minutes a day spent standing instead of sitting helps to increase digestive efficiency, blood flow to the brain and reduce the strain on the lower back, legs and glutes.
Change how people sit
Improving how people sit goes a long way to reducing inflammation and associated pain. If you’ve implemented standing desks for some employees, consider offering them a bar stool, which gives support and a different position, while encouraging the core to remain active. For those at a conventional desk, introduce a few exercise balls to the office. They help to engage core muscles and keep the body active while sitting, plus they’re a lot of fun.
Even the traditional office chair can be optimised for each person:
- Knees should be on the same level or slightly lower than hips.
- Elbows should be at about 100-110°, with the keyboard directly ahead.
- The screen should be directly ahead of the eyes, with the top of the screen about 5-10 cm above the eyes.
Encourage exercise during the day
Depending on where people live, it can take upwards of an hour to get home, on top of their full day job. Consider extending lunch breaks and encourage employees to get out for a walk or a run over lunch. Even introducing standing lunches, or trying to get everyone to have a good, deep stretch before the afternoon starts can help.
These are just a few small changes that can have a big impact on the lives of your employees, lengthening their lives and increasing happiness. Why is this important? Because a happy employee is generally a much more efficient and effective one.
English: The Language Of Oppression Or Opportunity?
We offer a wide range of courses specifically aimed at professionals who want to enhance their professional English communication skills. Some of our most popular courses are.
Having to communicate professionally in English sometimes strikes fear into the hearts of many South Africans irrespective of their gender, age or business field; the mere thought of presenting to a group of colleagues in English or submitting a report to your manager is daunting and nerve wracking. If you are one of the many, do not be embarrassed; you are in good company.
Despite South Africa’s recognition of 12 official languages and its embracing of multilingualism, English continues to be the dominant language within schools and workplaces and competence is considered a pathway to upward mobility and professional opportunities. While it is evident that one requires good English skills to excel academically and professionally, little attention has been paid to improving the English proficiency of South Africans. This may in part be because English is an official language and it is assumed that all South Africans can speak English well. However, the differences in the type of English one is exposed to and the difference between fluency and accuracy are overlooked.
South Africans are unique; we are multilingual, vibrant and dynamic individuals who utilise a wide variety of linguistic resources when we communicate. It is not odd to find us communicating in multiple languages at the same time; we code switch when we cannot remember the correct English word or when we want to express a thought accurately but cannot find an appropriate English word and we do it effortlessly and automatically. These skills set us apart as innovative language users as we mesh and blend languages in our common goal to communicate accurately.
Unfortunately, these skills do not hold us in good stead in the workplace where standard and ‘proper’ English is required and suddenly we lose confidence and nerve. We become more conscious of how much we do not know and question what we do know. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and paralysed by fear when you have to communicate solely in English and are suddenly evaluated against monolingual, Western, middle class norms. Furthermore, it is easy to assume if we incorporate more complex words and use lengthy phrases as well as adopt an American or British accent, our English language skills will suddenly improve. This is a myth; do not believe it!
In order to communicate effectively and appropriately, one needs to be cognisant of the following factors: the audience, the purpose of the message, the message itself, the grammatical accuracy of the message and the tone of the message. Simply put, one has to ensure that the meaning of the message is always concise and coherent and is phrased in a manner that can be easily understood by the reader or listener. Secondly, one has to ensure that the grammatical accuracy of the message is maintained; editing and proofreading are essential in order to win the reader’s or listener’s confidence in what you are communicating.
Here at Wits Language School, we are passionate about improving the language skills of South African second language learners and our courses are especially designed to help you improve your English language skills. We offer a wide range of courses specifically aimed at professionals who want to enhance their professional English communication skills. Some of our most popular courses are:
|Communicative Grammar||Are you interested in improving your editing skills and English grammar knowledge?
Join our Communicative Grammar course.
|English Speaking and Pronunciation||Do you want to improve your pronunciation and gain more confidence speaking in English?
Join our English Speaking and Pronunciation course.
|Business Writing||Are you interested in improving your proposal or minutes writing skills?
Join our Business Writing Skills course
|Presentation Skills||Do you want to give presentations that are dynamic and interesting?
Join our Presentation Skills course.
|Report Writing||Do you want to write reports that are coherent and well organised?
Join our Report Writing course.
|English for Critical Thinking in Business||Are you interested in improving your critical thinking skills and becoming a strategic thinker?
Join our Critical Thinking in Business course.
Climb the ladder to success and apply today. Applications for 2019 are now open. Wits Language School, changing lives and opening doors.
Read next: Tips To Becoming Fluent
Call For Applications: Young Entrepreneurs Global Exposure Trips
Closing Date: 30 November 2018
Investec CSI’s Young Entrepreneurs Programme provides South African entrepreneurs from various sectors with global exposure.
Every year Investec, in partnership with En-novate, sends a group of young entrepreneurs from various sectors to specifically selected countries in order to gain global exposure. Each itinerary provides them with opportunities to network and engage with venture capitalists, funders and captains of their specific industry. The aim is for them to gain learning and exposure to innovation, technology and process advancements. The programme also offers networking with subject and sector experts.
Applications for the Global Exposure trips are now open to ALL entrepreneurs – regardless of sector – who meet the criteria. Closing date is Friday 30 November 2018.
The programme itinerary and each trip is customised according to the profiles of the candidates, stage of business and specific sector.
By way of example, Investec recently sent 14 entrepreneurs from South Africa to Berlin to meet people doing Out of the Ordinary things in textiles: https://www.investec.com/en_za/focus/young-entrepreneurs/sa-entrepreneurs-return-inspired.html
Buy Or Invest In The Next Futuredev Properties Sandton Development
Looking to buy or invest in the next up and coming Sandton residential development? Futerdev Properties are currently developing Full-Title Free standing units, perfectly located just a few km’s away from the hustle and bustle of Sandton’s Central Business District.
Nearly half of all the office development taking place in South Africa right now is happening in Sandton. Sandton Central is the epicentre of this development, which includes many of the most cutting-edge, exciting and innovative new buildings on the continent.
Sandton Central is well established as Africa’s financial and business capital and continues to grow with developments that embody its vibrant, high-energy ‘live, work, play’ environment. It also currently holds the title of Africa’s Riches Square Mile.
With more people looking to be part of this live, work, play environment and the number of foreigners travelling to Johannesburg for business and work, the demand for residential property around Sandton Central has grown exponentially.
Live, Work And Play: Your Home Away From Home
Futuredev Properties specialises in developing Full-Title Residential Homes in the Sandton Area – Morningside and Bryanston to be specific. The most recent surveys have listed Bryanston as one of the better performing suburbs in terms of Capital Growth.
Our properties offer family living and a home-away-from-home feeling for those working in and around Sandton on longer or shorter assignments.
FutureDev Properties was founded by Akbar Hassim. “We have established ourselves not only as an independent, but also a Turnkey Developer – being able to buy Land, Finance the Real Estate Deals, Create, Control and Orchestrate the process of the Development from beginning to end.+
“Our approach to Property Development and Investment therein involves thorough financial and delivery risk analysis, thereafter followed by focused and efficient delivery.”
This approach is underpinned by many years of experience, and an impeccable entrepreneurial spirit.
Buy And Invest In The Latest Residential Developments
We have a number of Residential Developments currently underway, each at various stages. These Full-Title Free standing units, afford residents space and comfort within the security of cluster/ estate living. Perfectly located just a few km’s away from the hustle and bustle of Sandton’s Central Business District, and within close proximity to all major Malls & Shopping Centres, Schools, Hospitals, Gyms and places of worship.
We afford buyers and investors an opportunity to buy or invest in Prim Residential Real Estate, that provide the perfect balance of Excellent Capital Growth and Steady Income Yields.
Our Offering For Investors & Buyers
- Full-Title Free-Hold Residential Cluster Developments
- Prime locations, close to all essential amenities
- Perfect balance of high Capital Appreciation and Steady Income Yields
- Investor buyers can purchase with Rental Guarantees
*Limited number of investor units available
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