Xybix has mentioned plenty of times throughout our blogs how incorporating movement while working at your dispatch console can help you burn more calories, improve your focus, and even lower your risk of developing certain ailments. The good news is that there is no shortage of tools on the market that are designed to get you up and moving at work. After evaluating quite a few of them, here are five of the best accessories and exercises to help you stay healthy. We will start with the easy and low-cost (FREE!) items and work our way up.
- Desk Exercise. I googled “desk exercise” and received a ton of search results. I picked an article from Forbes magazine’s website because the video accompanying it had some silly music. This post has a few good options and a few crazy ones. I would not recommend the first one unless you are a gymnast, though if you are a gymnast, you’re probably not reading this anyway. The point is to just get up and move throughout the day, and the stretches highlighted in this article should help break your static pose as well as your daily monotony.
- Resistance Bands. These are pretty cool and inexpensive; I found some for $10 on Amazon. To help you get started, here are a few exercises you can do with your band at work. No, you do not need to wear yoga pants like this lady. You don’t even need to sweat. You just need to incorporate some movement to break up your stagnant position, and resistance bands can help you do just that.
- Shark Tank Tools. While watching Shark Tank on the plane the other night, I saw what I thought was a cool accessory for a Comm Center: the Simply Fit Board. In fact, I am standing on one right now. It’s really easy to get on and off of, and with your keyboard surface right in front of you, your balance will be rock solid. Since this is an “as seen on TV” product, it is $39.99 plus a hefty $7.99 shipping fee. However, don’t let the price deter you; it’s totally worth it.
Side Note: While you are on the website, check out the horrible Photoshop job they did on Lori Greiner’s dress.
- Desk Bike. I can describe this as being a stationary bike, but that is pretty obvious. This is the easier way to get up and moving when you're at work. The bike is very portable (it has wheels on the front) and can easily be moved from console to console. It is also easy to use, and when you have a critical call come in, you can simply just stop pedaling and concentrate. You can buy one from Xybix or LifeSpan Fitness (both offer desk bikes starting at $799). The desk bike works well in small centers with limited or tight space for movement.
- The Almighty Treadmill. Every dispatcher has heard of these, and many centers have treadmills for their teams to use. Using one of these will get you up and walking a little. We all know how it works; simply slide it under the console and start walking. The treadmill caps out at a max speed of 4 mph or 2 mph. You cannot work at a speed much faster than 2 mph, but I like having the option to kick it up if it is slow. Why not walk your butt off during a graveyard shift? This works best in a larger center where you can have a dedicated treadmill station at a 4th position or training position, then dispatchers are able to cycle through and use it for a few minutes at a time.
We are getting great reports about dispatchers getting more active and losing weight just through the treadmills, so it is really an option worth exploring. Prices range from $1,000 to $1,500. Again, you can buy from Xybix by calling 1-800-788-2810 and asking for customer service, or you can go online and buy from LifeSpan Fitness.
Hopefully this article has given you five great ways to get moving while working at your dispatch console. Want to rise the bar? Try implementing a challenge in your center, as a goal or contest will help get everyone motivated. You could do a type of competition similar to The Biggest Loser to just see who can do more stretches in an hour, who can do their movements consistently for two months, etc. In fact, if you can show me a cool and creative way to encourage your center to get up and move around, I will send one $100 gift card to the first center who enters. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!