Year of Wellbeing Blog: Amanda's story

Everyone has their own story to share about ways they have found to care for their own wellbeing, and the wellbeing of other people.

A team of bloggers have agreed to describe their personal journey. We hope their stories help and inspire others during our Year of Wellbeing.


Standing up for yourself

Amanda - Year of wellbeing bloggerLike many women my age, my job is office based and I spend many an hour in front of a computer screen. Five years ago I would walk five meters to my car and back each day and that was pretty much the sum of my daily exercise. I had engineered my working environment to have the printer, the filing cabinet and all the necessary stationery within arms length. Yes, I was very very unfit and overweight. My right hand draw was filled with sugary snacks for those times in the day when I needed a pick me up.

At the beginning of 2014 my partner died unexpectedly of a heart attack. He was 53. Following this very sad wake-up call I decided to make a change. My health was at risk and I needed to improve my activity level and lose weight as a priority. But what to do? Let’s be honest, like me, many women don’t like the idea of going to the gym for lots of reasons….the other fit people, the equipment, the smell of sweat….ugh…., not for me. I just wanted to make a change in my activity levels with the minimum effort (not changing into different clothes etc).

One morning I had a mad plan. To the great surprise of my colleagues I cleared my desk, walked into the staff room, picked up a coffee table, dragged it very noisily with total disregard to health and safety regulations and plonked it on top of my existing desk.

I had decided to stand up at work and move more as a consequence. I didn’t care what people thought because I was standing up for myself.

It certainly worked. Along with improved changes in eating I lost weight and improved my health. Feeling inspired I studied obesity and weight management including behaviour change around food and became increasingly passionate about lifestyle change for workplace wellbeing. In 2016 I launched my own small weight loss consultancy in Alcester, Warwickshire, and now help people make their own lifestyle changes towards weight loss and wellness.

Five years on I am still standing. I am fortunate enough to now have a desk that I can move up and down. I continue to enjoy the increase in energy throughout the day and the joy of moving more at work.

If you work in administration and are office based you don’t have to go to this extreme to reap the benefits - just get up every 20 minutes or so, use the stairs, walk and talk. Just move a bit more at work. Stand up for yourself.

Studies show the benefits of a standing up at work include:

  • Improved weight loss and fitness levels
  • Less feelings of stress and fatigue
  • Improved mood and energy levels
  • Decrease in chronic back pain caused by prolonged sitting
  • Lower risk of developing heart disease.
  • Lowering blood sugar levels, especially after lunch
  • Improved productivity - you just get more stuff done!


About the author

Amanda lives in Alcester, South Warwickshire, and is MIS liaison co-ordinator at Warwickshire College Group. She also finds time to run her own wellness consultancy:‚Äč
You can see more from Amanda Austen-Jones' on her You Tube page:


Click here to find out more about Coventry and Warwickshire's Year of Wellbeing 2019.


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