Is your office beginning to feel a bit stale? Do you feel like the space is inexplicably causing a higher number of sick days? The cause may not be so inexplicable. There are things you can—and should—do to bring a little health and vitality back into your office space. Let’s take a look at 10 ways you can make your office space healthier—both mentally and physically.
Clean the air you’re breathing
One reason your office space might feel unhealthy is that it might actually be unhealthy. There could be any number of airborne viruses and microbes causing you to keep catching colds or to mistake allergy symptoms for illnesses. An air purifier, like the Miro CleanPot Aroma Plus Humidifier, can help keep the air you are breathing clean and fresh, protecting you from both illnesses and allergens.
But don’t stop at clean air
Make sure you are regularly cleaning the other surfaces that trap dirt, dust mites, dander, allergens, and germs. Dust your desk, and use a vacuum that has a smart seal allergen system, like the Bissell PowerGlide, on your floor regularly.
Did you know that spending too much time in dry air can lead to health problems? Asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, nosebleeds, and dehydration can all be caused by air that is too dry, and that can contribute to a lack of productivity. Incorporating a humidifier into your workspace can help. Also remember to drink lots of water during the day. A smart water bottle or office water cooler can serve as a good reminder to stay hydrated.
Incorporate exercise into the workspace
Is your Fitbit continuously telling you to move more during the day? Staying fit can help you stay healthy, but it can be difficult when you have to work at a desk all day. You can try taking breaks to wander around the office so you can get your steps, but that can disrupt your productivity. There is another way, though. You can get an under-desk elliptical, a desk cycle, or a mini-stepper.
Or focus on your core instead
A little cardio is always a good thing, but you can go even further towards protecting yourself from back pain, sciatica, and other common problems by focusing on strengthening your core. Some companies will orchestrate office yoga classes, but you don’t need to do anything quite so drastic. You can bring a core workout right to your desk by using a fitness ball as a chair.
Exercise and core strength are great, but did you know that sitting for long periods of time can still have negative health impacts? A standing desk can resolve this problem—but you don’t want to be on your feet all day either, so try opting for a work station that can adjust between seated and standing levels as your body sees fit.
Ergonomics are important
Your workspace can cause negative health impacts if it isn’t ergonomically correct. You can avoid injuries caused by repetitive strain (i.e.: carpel tunnel and arthritis) by purchasing a few ergonomically designed items. Focus on the things you use most often: your posture is impacted by your chair as well as by your monitor or laptop position, and incorrect keyboard design and touchpad or computer mouse use can cause further strain to your wrists, especially if you spend long hours working. A Smart posture trainer or an adjustable posture corrector can help ensure your posture isn’t going to contribute to any issues.
Lighting makes a huge difference
Dim lighting can cause eye strain, but some of the light emitted by fluorescent bulbs can be just as bad—and then there’s the blue light emitted by your computer screens and other devices. Not only can bad lighting cause eye strain and fatigue, but it can also negatively impact your mood—especially during the winter months when you may not be getting as much sunlight as you require. Getting a lamp that emits soft light or that allows you to adjust brightness can help. You can also get Smart lightbulbs that allow you to control the intensity and spectrum of light emitted, or Happy Lights that help to improve your mood and prevent seasonal fatigue.
Clean your computer screen
Speaking of eye strain, have you thought about how the dust and smudges on your computer screen may be contributing to your eye strain? Investing in a good quality, streak-free screen cleaner may make more of a difference than you’d think—for your eyes and your overall health.
Bring a little of the outdoors inside
Plants bring a number of advantages into any space. They help to filter and thus improve air quality, they have been proven to help reduce computer radiation, and they contain psychological benefits, too. Spending a little time among the green leaves of the forest can help lower stress and increase creativity, but since you can’t move your workspace into the forest every day, consider bringing some leafy greens into the workspace instead. Worried about the upkeep? Pick up a couple smart pots, like a self watering planter pot or LED Growlight, or add some extra tech benefits, like at this flower pot/Bluetooth speaker/LED light. You can amplify the psychological benefits of incorporating those plants by painting your walls a shade of green, too.
Conclusion: the benefits are clear
Your workspace doesn’t have to contribute to your health problems. A few simple changes can make a big difference when it comes to improving your physical and mental health—and that will open the doors for a lot more productivity and creativity, too. It’s a win-win for any workplace.