Is your office environment making you lethargic or unhealthy? From a break room full of empty-calorie, sugar-filled snacks to improper posture at your desk, your office habits influence your physical, mental and emotional health. Implement five tips to make your office healthier for you, your co-workers and your clients.
1. Offer healthy snacks
A selection of healthy snacks in the break room will help you avoid the vending machine and those tempting candy bars your coworkers buy. Agree as a team to stock healthy snacks like fresh fruit, raw veggies, almonds, trail mix, natural peanut butter, high-fiber crackers and low-calorie popcorn. If your coworkers balk at the idea, store a stash in your desk for quick access when the munchies strike. Make sure you take time to eat a healthy breakfast and lunch, packed with plenty of whole grain and fresh produce. Healthy eating habits will help you feel full and limit unnecessary snacking at work.
2. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated throughout the day eliminates the bloated and tired feeling you experience after overindulging on junk food or drinking too much soda. Limit your calories and caffeine intake by incorporating tea, all-natural fruit juice (read labels carefully to avoid sugary drinks masquerading as healthy beverages) and water run through Aqua Pure filters. Water helps your body function properly and can be livened up with slices of fresh fruit or a sprig of mint if the ‘plain’ taste is unappealing.
3. Exercise with a group
Most likely, your officemates want to join your quest to stay healthy at work. Institute an exercise program for everyone in your office. Start a weekly yoga class or cycling group. Walk every day after lunch or promote using the stairs rather than the elevator. Take breaks every hour to step away from your desk and stretch or do lunges. Sit on an exercise ball for five minutes every hour or carry weights when delivering files to another department. Store sneakers in your desk and eliminate the excuses you might come up with to avoid physical fitness during the day.
4. Utilize ergonomic office equipment
Ergonomic office equipment reduces injuries caused by sitting in an uncomfortable position or performing repetitive actions all day. Employ ergonomic chairs, keyboard trays, computer monitor stands and footrests. These tools improve posture, reduce body and eyestrain and improve your productivity while limiting costly and painful injuries.
5. Include aesthetic touches
Plants, photos and color promote office health. English ivy, Warneck dracaena and peace ivies cleanse the air by removing harmful airborne chemicals. Strategically place a plant every 100 feet in your office for improved air quality. In addition to breathing easier, improve your mental health when you include pictures of your family members in your workspace or work in an office that uses vibrant colors on the walls or as accents. Orange increases energy, excitement and enthusiasm. Add orange in accents like artwork, furniture or décor. When you feel happy at work, you’ll be motivated to incorporate behaviors that help you stick to healthy habits.
Wise food choices, plentiful hydration, regular exercise, proper posture and a happy atmosphere contribute to a healthy office environment. Ask your coworkers to join you in implementing tips in these five areas. Create a physically, mentally and emotionally healthy office for everyone.