Your daily nine to five isn’t just about money making, it’s almost half our lives and it has a huge impact on your health. Knowing the health risks in your workplace may mean a healthy body and a better business. Read on for 5 things you can do to improve your health in the office.
Simple things can make a big difference. This could be as easy as opening a window to allow fresh air in. From mould spores to chemical particles drifting off new carpets or cleaning products, the air in your workspace may be more polluted than the air outside. This makes fresh air the cheapest and simplest productivity booster available.
Another cheap and effective trick is to bring more plants into your workspace which add oxygen and humidity to your indoor environment and clean the air of pollutants. The Peace Lily is a popular option with its low light tolerance making it the perfect office plant.
Tip: Consider bringing in English Ivy. The plant is easy to grow and the plant can thrive in nearly any light condition. It also makes for a calming aesthetic while its ability to eliminate mould is a great workspace asset.
Get your Body Moving
It’s widely known that sitting all day is detrimental to your health, as it limits your body’s ability to oxidise fat and research has also shown it could increase the risk of diabetes and obesity. But if the thought of standing up all day instead tires you out there is a middle ground. Standing stations are becoming increasingly popular - workers who stand are not only more productive, they also have better posture.
Another simple way to combat the sedentary workspace lifestyle is to swap that chair for an exercise ball. You’ll save your feet from tiring out but still have the benefits associated with constant movement. It won’t feel like much but the ball encourages your body to make small, subtle changes to balance yourself, it’s good for your core.
Take a Break from Technology
If your workspace involves extended time on a computer or laptop then chances are you’ll experience some form of eye strain. While this can act as an annoyance at first, it has the potential to cause long term damage. A general rule is the ’20-20-20’. This rule states that every 20 minutes you stare at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Your eye muscles will have time to relax which helps fight fatigue and stop long term damage.
Tip: Wearing glasses can be a hassle but you should consider leaving a spare pair at the office. Wearing contact lenses all day can be tempting but if you’re putting in long hours at work and your eyes are feeling dry, its best to avoid irritating them further and wear your glasses instead.
Change your Routine
One of the most common technological actions is also causing the most injuries with using the phone having a massive effect on workspace health. The cramped action of holding a phone to your ear is not a natural position and over time can cause muscle strains and misalignment to the body’s natural posture. Consider using speakerphone, a headset or simply walking over to that colleague across the room instead.
Consider "walking meetings" which also offer fantastic health benefits. If there’s an informal meeting in your schedule, consider taking it outside. This won’t only involve moving the body and getting fresh air, but studies have shown that walking boosts brain connectivity and function, which develops harder, healthier and smarter workers.
Break up the Day
Incorporating two short breaks into your working day is a great way to improve health, as well as, productivity. Something as simple as ten-minute breaks -- twice a day, eliminates stress and revitalises the body. If you take a walk outside your work environment, you’ll also grab the benefits of the sun’s Vitamin D.
A tired worker is an inefficient worker so getting recharged and re-energised means greater value for your enterprise too!