Your office affects your health and happiness. Many occupations deliver stress, sedentary behavior, and unhealthy habits along with the paycheck, which can take a toll both physically and emotionally. You spend at least eight hours a day at work, so it’s important to make sure that you have a healthy office environment. Here are seven ways to make your office better for your health.
1. Remind yourself to sit less.
People who work at desks should stand or walk around for at least two hours a day to avoid health risks related to too much sitting. Moving around throughout your workday is important. Not only is it good for you physically, but studies show that it can increase your productivity and ability to focus on tasks.
2. Clear the air.
It’s not unusual for office environments to trigger what’s known as “occupational allergies.” Perhaps you can let in some fresh air by keeping a window open while you work. In addition, try to remember to dust your work space every so often.
3. Add a plant.
Bringing nature into your office can be a great way to inspire creativity and a feeling of wellness. Plants are beneficial, especially from a psychological perspective.
4. Display (a few) personal items.
Decorating your desk can help you feel comfortable, which can reduce workplace stress and dissatisfaction. To prevent your desk from becoming too cluttered, which could actually cause more stress, stick with just a few items.
5. Stop eating at your desk.
One of the most important things you can do during the work day is to not eat at your desk. Have a dedicated area where you can go to get away from your desk environment and have lunch, preferably with other people, so you can truly get a break during the day.
6. Pay attention to posture.
Sitting all day isn't necessarily the healthiest thing for you, but slouching all day is even worse. Posture is very important, both for your health and productivity. Sitting up tall gives you a sense of accomplishment, while slouching makes you feel tired and lazy. Slumping or hunching over a computer all day is also a main contributor to back pain.
7. Adjust your lighting.
Getting natural light during the day is ideal, so your best bet is to sit near a window. In fact, people with windows in their offices get better sleep and are more physically active than those without, according to a recent study. Being exposed to daylight helps keep your stress levels and your circadian rhythm in check.
Implement these strategies into your workplace environment and you'll see a significant difference in both your physical and emotional health.