Office health is a major cornerstone of work culture—and for good reason. Sitting in front of the computer for hours has many underlying health risks, but many people still sweep these potential problems under the rug. If you invest and focus on making the work place health-friendly, you’ll end up with happier, more productive employees. From investing in ergonomic peripherals to promoting more physical activity, you can do several things to make your work a better place.
Why Is It Important?
There’s more and enough research now to realize the potential dangers of office jobs or a sedentary lifestyle. Long hours on the chair can eventually lead to slouching and other bad postures that can exacerbate into back or neck issues. Lack of physical activity and stimulation can contribute to weight gain, weakened immune system, and even heart issues. It’s hard to think that simply sitting down in front of a computer can have so many long-term health risks—and that’s the dangerous part. We tend to overlook these issues, which is why it’s even more imperative for employers to actively promote healthy habits.
Office Break Rooms and Physical Activities
Office health begins with health-awareness. As an employer, designing a warm, relaxing break room is a top priority. Employees use the break room for eating snacks, mentally recharging, and conversing with co-workers—all of which are great reasons to move around and stay active. Many companies also squeeze in fun activities for their employees, such as team outings, daily lunches, and various celebrations (birthdays or holidays). Actively encouraging your employees to relax, unwind, and have fun are quintessential aspects to balancing work, health, and happiness.
Another way to foster a healthier office environment is exercise. Whether it’s as a company or individually, exercising shouldn’t be a foreign idea at the office. You certainly don’t need a fully furnished gym to stay healthy and fit. Some ideas can be daily push-ups, stretches at your desk, and post-lunch walks. Make both time and space for your employees to pursue a healthier lifestyle.
The main culprit to the bodily aches and pains is sitting down with bad posture. Even though we constantly remind ourselves to stay upright, keep our elbows straight, and neck pointed directly forward, it’s hard to maintain this—ironically, this can also be uncomfortable. What we can do mitigate such pains and aches is to invest in ergonomic office solutions. Extended use of traditional mice and keyboards can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, creating uncomfortable wrist pains. Ergonomic mice relieve the constant pressure on our wrists by effectively changing the grip angle into a more natural “handshake” position. Office workers and professional gamers alike are susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome, so it’s important to encourage use of ergonomic mice. Wrist rests for keyboard or mouse can support your wrists to avoid strains and bad posture.
Ergonomic keyboards, similar to mice, help tackle the age-old problem of carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. Some keyboards are designed with a wave-like shape to adapt to more natural human posture, and some come with comfortable wrist-rests attached already. Using an ergonomic keyboard is all about encouraging users to sit in a better posture without straining your wrists.
The wooden chairs at public libraries are great for keeping you awake, but they sure aren’t too comfortable. Unlike the rigid library chairs, ergonomic chairs come in many sizes, shapes, colors, and material, but the unifying characteristic is flexibility. Everyone’s body is unique and a single chair won’t be the cure-all solution. However, chairs that have adjustable features for height range, depth, arm rest, and backrest can cater to different body types and situations. Ergonomic chairs can also have extra features that support better postures. Things like lumbar support and neck rest actively prevents you from slouching and makes sitting down a pleasurable experience.
A healthy alternative to constant sitting is standing, and there’s no better ergonomic tool than the standing desk to help you do this. There are countless benefits of standing including burning more calories and decreasing risk of cancer, strokes, and heart attacks. It’s no wonder that standing desks have become more popular over the years in order to give workers more flexibility in how they work. Similar to ergonomic chairs, these transforming desks open up possibilities to stay more active and healthy.
Encouraging office health and espousing ergonomic solutions are staple to creating a positive work environment. From doing 5-minute team-wide stretches to investing in ergonomic keyboards, you can easily invest in employee well-being.