Take a look around your office. Seems relatively non-threatening, right?…
…Over there is that fern they added when the firm was experiencing some financial troubles and they wanted to “pick up the mood.” Next to the fern is a motivational quote featuring an adventurous person leaping off of a cliff (presumably with a parachute somewhere attached to that body, but who can tell?). Over there is your coworker who doesn’t understand what you’re trying to signal when you put your over sized headphones on — okay, maybe that part of the office seems pretty threatening. But other than that? Nah. Maybe we could all use some good quality office tips.
Look, we’re not going to sit here and say that your office or office mates are going to eat you alive — unless your office is a boat called Orca and you’re chasing a Great White Shark. But we are going to say this:“Hey, old buddy old pal. It’s time to rethink your office space.”
Offices on their own are actually rife with hazards, many of them due to the repetitive nature of office work. All of that typing, mousing and sitting may not seem like much, but it adds up. Repetitive motions are at the heart of painful Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs) like carpal tunnel syndrome. They can also lead to pain all throughout your upper body. And all of that staring at a computer can lead to one nasty case of Computer Vision Syndrome, which can present in the form of blurry vision, headaches, and neck pain.
That’s all painful as it is, but it feels like an even sharper dig if you’re the type of person who tracks their health and fitness carefully. There you are, running morning marathons, and yet it’s all undone when you step into the office.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the 5 suggestions below, your healthy office will contribute to your personal health as much as your FitBit. Here’s how:
1. Do Some Healthy Office Stretching
One of the best ways to combat Repetitive Strain Injuries is to make them less repetitive. Stopping work every 45-minutes or so to walk around and stretch is a great way to do this, as you’ll increase blood flow to areas of the body where it may have stagnated, and you’ll challenge your muscles to work in different ways.
This will really be the case when you go full out with some office stretching. No, this doesn’t mean unrolling your exercise mat in the middle of a meeting. As we examine in-depth in our article, the Complete Guide to Office Yoga, there are number of stretches you can do right at your desk, and many apps to help you along your way.
Stop, breathe, and challenge those muscles. When you’re done you’ll feel refreshed and your muscles will be ready to get back at it.
2. Improve Your Lighting
Few things will ruin your vision quite like squinting at a computer screen all day in a poorly lit office. Make sure that your lighting is fully ergonomic by removing any fluorescent lighting if possible, and adding a soft yellow lamp to your desk. Make sure that your lighting doesn’t glare off your screen, and don’t position your screen near a window. Lighting could make all the difference in your healthy office.
And please please please make sure you look at something else once in awhile. Set a timer to remind you to look away from your screen and focus on objects at a different distance. Your eye muscles fatigue just like any other with prolonged used, and they’ll benefit from a break.
3. Up Your Office Kitchen Game
Navigating through the office kitchen can be like traversing a field of landmines. Birthday celebrations, the holidays, that one coworker who loves to show off their baking skills and share the results. These kinds of treats will throw healthy eating habits into havoc. To combat this, talk with your coworkers about laying out these office hazards a little more strategically. You could, for instance, designate a more hidden spot in the kitchen for treats, so it’s not constantly in your face for easy picking. If other coworkers are into it, assign a person to bring in healthy snacks every week that you all love. This way you’ll not only have great options, but you’ll also feel obligated to go for them rather than the unhealthy options
4. Create a Welcoming Break Room
It may sound counter intuitive, but taking regular breaks throughout the workday will make you far more productive than working the whole day through. The human mind can only concentrate for so long before it slows down production subconsciously, no matter how determined your conscious brain may be.
A good break room that actually feels like a separate environment is a great way to give your brain the relaxation and rejuvenation it needs. Sure, you could equip your break room with ping pong tables, but it can also work to have a room that’s simply comfortable and quiet. In an ideal world, your office would have both for different moods and different psychologies.
One key here: your company culture should not make the break room taboo. This too often becomes the norm at many hip workplaces, where employees feel judged just by stepping into the break room. Just let your coworkers relax already and they’ll let you do the same.
5. Go Ergonomic & Voila, Here’s Your Healthy Office
By far the biggest danger to your workplace health is poor ergonomics. Whether you’re hunching over your desk, straining to see your screen, mousing incorrectly, sitting all day, or typing on a flat keyboard, spending significant amounts of time in an office is one of the worst things you can do for your health.
But hey, just like you can “hack your commute” by riding a bike, you can hack your office for your health in no time.
An adjustable sit/stand desk will radically improve the health of your back while also increasing your metabolism and your blood flow. The Goldtouch EasyLift Desk is a sit/stand desk converter that will help resolve the issue of sitting all day.
An ergonomic mouse will provide the curve and support your wrist and hand need.
And an adjustable split keyboard will ensure you can find the right angle for your body and typing style.
Together, all of these ergonomic interventions will turn you into a healthy office iron man or woman. You’ll work pain-free, giving you more energy to speed through your work and be more creative while you do so. Basically, it’s the difference between just getting the job done and being the medal winner of your age group. What’s not to like?
Shop at Goldtouch and discover ergonomic products that can convert your office into a healthy office today! And of course, maybe we should try adding a little fitness into our workday. Leave comments regarding the first steps your will take to create your healthy office!