How To Create A Healthier Workspace
You spend at least half of your day at the office. While some jobs have defined occupational hazards, you shouldn’t have to compromise your health in an office setting. No matter where you work, you can create a healthier workspace with these tips and tricks.
Swap out that desk chair
Sitting is the new smoking. It leads to poor circulation, obesity, and high blood pressure. You can’t change much about your job requirements. You need to use your computer, so consider alternatives to a standard desk chair.
There are the classics, like a standing desk and a treadmill desk, but think outside the box. You’ve probably already heard of a balance ball, but have you heard of the new balance bar chair? This product allows you to sit on a balance ball without worrying about rolling all over the office. These chairs include a giant ball affixed to a standard desk chair, with many also featuring attached resistance bands so you can get an upper body workout in, too.
Even if your job forces you to sit all day, you can still engage your core throughout the day by working on your posture. Sitting all day is bad enough for your health, but slouching is even worse. Hunching over a computer can cause significant, long-lasting back pain. Consider investing in an ergonomic chair. At the very least, set a reminder to adjust your posture and sit up straight every half an hour or so.
Try to fit in a few short workouts throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of hopping in the elevator. Swap out your desk chair for an exercise ball from time to time. Take short breaks to walk around or to stand up and stretch.
Your workspace should be an extension of you and improve your quality of life. Consider adding a few mementos like a framed photo or a special award to help you feel comfortable. Don’t go overboard, though. Too much clutter will have the opposite effect and make you feel more stressed out.
Start A Workplace Club
See if anyone else is interested in gardening. Keeping plants in the office can go a long way in improving your mood and increasing air quality. A few potted plants or a terrarium will freshen the air in your office and help brighten everyone’s mood.
A walking or running club would be a great way to get people out of the office during breaks or at lunch. Ask everyone who’s interested to bring their running shoes with them, and plan on a 15- minute daily walk or run.
Go a step further, and create some healthy exercise challenges and invite the entire office to take part. Offer a prize for the person who puts the most steps on their smartwatch or pedometer. Come up with a goal, like training for the next big charity 5K.
Your senses influence your mood. Refreshing the air you breathe can make you much more productive. Consider placing an oil diffuser on your desk to fill the space with calming essential oils. This will not only freshen the air around you but also help keep you more relaxed and in a productive mood. If possible, keep your windows open while you work, or run an air purifier with a HEPA filter to clear things up.
Let The Light In
Being exposed to natural light throughout the entire day is a great way to improve your health. You’ll feel more energized, be more active, and even get better sleep when you hit the pillow at night. The natural daylight helps keep your circadian rhythms in check, your stress levels low and your mood high.
You should try to expose yourself to as much natural light as possible. If you can’t do this, consider changing the temperature of the office lighting. Warm lights (with a yellow glow) help calm you down and make you feel more relaxed, while cool lights are better for analytical thinking. Use a desk lamp to reduce eye strain instead of overhead lights, especially if they use fluorescent bulbs.
One of the best things you can do for your health is to stop eating at your desk. Find a dedicated area where you can go to escape, even for a few moments, and enjoy the company of others. This will help give your brain a break, allowing you to have a more productive afternoon.
Try to incorporate these six tips for creating a healthier workspace in your home office or in a large corporate cubicle. Not only will you be healthier, but you’ll be happier and more productive.