6 Easy Steps to a Healthier Office
No matter if you are in an office space in a commercial building or you work out of your home, chances are you spend a good part of your day in an office. Here are some easy ways to make sure you are working in the healthiest environment as possible.
Clear the clutter:
The first step is clearing off your space. Ditch the old calendar, scraps of paper and old sticky notes, chipped mug and faded photos. Go thru that mound of pens and dull pencils.
Sit Less/Stand more. The studies are coming in fast and furious. Most of us are sitting more to the detriment of our bodies. Make your desk as ergononmic as possible. There are so many more office chair solutions now that are lighter weight and stylish than the first ones that came out. Get a desk chair that flexes with your body-most of us are not just sitting and typing anymore. We are doing a multiple of tasks that require more movement. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle when using your computer. A chair that adjusts height will help you stay at the proper angle. Try a standing desk, or create one. You can set your computer and keyboard up on a small table and work standing up. Remember the arm angle should stay the same and your monitor should still be at eye level. Get up and take breaks multiple times during the day. If you need to, set a timer. Of course if you can get outside and get some fresh air that is even better.
Clear the air:
There are so many toxins in our home and office environments. It's not unusual for office environments to trigger what's known as occupational allergies—sensitivities to chemicals in carpet, office furniture, or paint, for example, that can trigger problems like headaches and rashes. Open your windows and get fresh air while you are working. If you are in a commercial building and it is not possible to open the windows, at least get a Hepa-filter for your desk.
Paint your walls: By now you know how much I love paint. It is a great way to create emotional wellness and in an office make sure you are choosing a color that is calming and energizing. Green is a great choice as this color range is linked to enhanced creative thinking. Choose colors that are moderately saturated but relatively bright. Sage, seafoam and soft turquoise are great choices. Make sure to get VOC free paint. You can literally paint one day and be working in your office the next day.
Even if you can’t paint your walls, a green plant is something you can add on your desk. Bringing in nature inspires creativity and a feeling of wellness. Plants also help clear the air we breathe. Opt for a leafy green plant versus a spiky cactus.
Aromatherapy: Keep an aromatherapy diffuser on your desk to release essential oils into the air. These natural scents don’t irritate with chemical fragrances like candles and air fresheners. Citrus like lemon, grapefruit and lime are uplifting, peppermint and rosemary can improve thinking and memory. Have fun creating your own blends to keep you refreshed and in good spirits.
Add personal objects:
Decorate your desk area with a few well chosen items. Place 3- 4 items that are significant to you and they will help reduce stress and dissatisfaction. Stick to just a few items like a family photo, an award you are particularly proud of, a mug that makes you smile, a favorite pen or memo pad. The more items you have, the more items your eye tracks and can add to fatigue. Feel free to add in personality to your basic items like file folders, notebooks and your planner.
Make sure to stay hydrated. While I am not a fan of you eating at your workspace -I think eating should be done at it’s own time and place, drinking water is a different story. Many of my clients need a system to remember to drink water so they either bring a pitcher and keep it on the desk and make sure they drain it by the end of the day or they track it with a timer or app. Even better is to step away and use the opportunity to get exercise by going to the kitchen and get the water you need.