Staying Healthier and Happier in the Workplace
It’s no secret that sitting at a desk all day every day can have a negative impact on your health. We as humans are not designed to be sedentary creatures, but our modern lifestyles mean the certain careers have forced us to spend far longer sitting down than standing up.
This has serious implications for our health – including our weight, posture and ultimately our lifespan. Not only is the sitting down an issue, other aspects of working indoors at computers also cause health issues.
Things like the air quality, proximity to the screen and diet influences all mean that office lifestyles can be bad for us. But can we really change that much about the place we work in order to change this? The short answer is, yes.
Here are a few ways you can change little aspects of your workplace environment to try and make it that bit healthier.
Snacking on healthier, energy packed snacks will make you feel so much better at work.If you’re sacrificing snacks to cut calories, stop—to lose weight, you need snacks. Snacking is an opportunity to fuel your body between meals, and will give you the energy you need to focus on your work.
But, they need to be healthy snacks! Swap out crisps, chocolate and pastries for nuts, seeds fruit and yoghurt. These will stop hunger pangs and will release energy slowly and steady, keeping you going all day long.
Make Some Adjustments
There a few subtle ways that you can switch up your seating arrangement at work that will have a hugely positive impact on your posture and health. Not just a trendy new requirement, the standing desk is increasingly becoming essential for the health conscious creative.
There are plenty of models available, including a cheap one from the trusted IKEA, so it’s deffo worth asking your boss for one. It’s a great idea to have the ability to move the desk up and down to take turns between sitting and standing – a much healthier idea.
Another one of the easiest ways to ensure great posture is to look at your monitor and how high or low it stands on your desk. The golden rule is that your eyes should naturally be at the same level as the top of your monitor, and it also should be arm’s length away from your chair.
Research suggests that plants in your work space can improve productivity, increase your concentration and make you happier and less stressed. Probably the cheapest recommendation of this list, a plant for your desk will do wonders for your health.
Plants are even thought to clear any toxins in the air, so they make a perfect natural air purifier. Visit and support your local garden centre by purchasing a few green plants!
Fresh air is so important! You need to make sure that you have some proper ventilation in your office, or that you at least make sure you crack a window every now and then.
Obviously large industrial sites have large scale ventilation systems which aren’t be necessary for smaller commercial buildings, who will need smaller scale systems – but it doesn’t mean you’re office doesn’t need circulation.
Smaller ventilation systems will need to be implemented in smaller environments, and you should make sure that your workspace complies with regulations.
Take a Break
No, don’t have a kit-kat. But, you should try your best to take regular breaks at work. It goes without saying, taking even a 5-minute break from our desks is good for us.
Just a chance to stretch our legs and take a few moments away from being hunched over our work is incredibly beneficial. If you’re useless at remembering to ‘take five’, why not use a helpful app, such as Stand Up! or Awareness.
So, now that you’ve done all that, why not consider other parts of your day when you can avoid sitting down. Things like going for a jog on your lunch break, or even going to the gym!
Plenty of gyms put on lunchtime classes like yoga or aerobics, which will get you all refreshed and set up for your afternoon – and will release some much-needed endorphins. Other simple routine changes can be as simple as brainstorming on your feet and taking the stairs at every opportunity.
You could also try and organize some social events outside of work, other than going to the pub! Group exercise sessions like golfing or tennis after work can be a great way to make your whole workplace environment feel healthier.