The science is in.
Sitting down is bad for you.
Sitting down all day - which is what most office workers do - is 'the new smoking'. Recent health study after health study have shown that too much sitting down can lead to:
But I think sitting down has a negative business impact that is not explored in these health studies. I think that teams who sit down too much are less creative too.
Do I have any scientific evidence for this? No. But I can tell you about my experience working on innovation projects...
Many times I've seen that when people stand together at a whiteboard or flip-chart they come alive. They are more creative, original and energised.
Maybe it's because their bodies are literally freer to move. It could be because the blood is flowing easily around their organs. It's also because more oxygen is reaching their brains. Whatever it is, when it comes to creativity, standing beats sitting.
Stand tall and think big
When you ask people to 'think bigger' you need them to 'be bigger' too.
You need people to feel that not only can they occupy a larger physical space - by standing up - but that their ideas can also occupy a larger mental space.
As I say, I don't have any research to back this up. All I have is experience. Experience that, when you rate the quality of ideas of people working together standing up groups, they're much better than when people are hunched up and sitting down.
Obviously, scribbling on a whiteboard is more fun that filling in the cells on an Excel spreadsheet. Although, some people get a kick out of spreadsheets!
But when people are having fun, they are more creative. Feeling more creative in itself generates a sense of energy and excitement. Excitement that feeds into that sense of fun - which
generates more creative energy and so on. It's a virtuous circle.
So, if you're looking for your team to be more innovative, ask them to stand up, gather around the whiteboard and see what a difference it makes.