Employee Wellness Blog

14 Sneaky Ways to Make Your Office Healthier

Posted by Robyn Whalen on Mon, Jan 09, 2017

Traditional work environments take a toll on your health – that’s really no secret. If you’re like the average American and spend most of your day in the office, it may seem like practicing a healthy lifestyle is nearly impossible.beautiful-female-executive-working-at-her-desk_1170-1931.jpg

In reality, healthy office living is achievable if you put focus on your body and mind throughout your workday. Check out these 14 sneaky ways to make your office healthier:

Add plants. Did you know that keeping plants in your office can help you be healthier and more productive? Certain plants like ficus, garden mum, and bamboo are great for air quality. Plants also have psychological benefits as well. Studies have shown that plants help boost productivity, concentration, and creativity.  

Standing desks. You’ve probably heard a lot about standing desks in the workplace lately. That’s because of the tremendous research that has been done on the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting for eight hours straight wreaks havoc on your health. If a standing desk isn’t an option due to your office layout or desk design, consider replacing your chair with an exercise ball.  

Fresh air. Open the windows! Fresh air circulating in your office helps combat occupational allergens. If your office space doesn’t have any nearby windows, consider bringing an air purifier to work.

Add more green. Paint your office walls green to encourage healthy behaviors. The color green has been shown to promote the feelings of tranquility and health. If you are not able to paint any walls in your office, try decorating your desk with green décor.

Aromatherapy. Smell can affect mood, productivity, and concentration. Aromatherapy can be used to create a relaxing work environment. Try choosing scents like rosemary, lavender, or peppermint to boost performance and lower stress.

Pets. Try going pet-friendly! Bringing your pet to work has been shown to increase employee wellness through physical activity and stress relief. Plus, it’ll also give co-workers something to bond over.

Natural light. Exposure to natural light boosts employee wellness. A 2014 study showed that employees who worked in offices with exposure to natural daylight had better sleep, physical activity, and quality of life. If you don’t sit in an area with natural lighting, try to make sure that meetings are held in areas with natural lighting. You can even try switching the type of light bulbs that your office uses to promote healthier lighting.

Clean. This one may seem obvious, but it’s definitely overlooked. Regular deep cleaning is crucial to the health of your office. While your company might have a cleaning crew visit regularly, it is important that you still make efforts in cleaning shared spaces and appliances in your office.

Décor. Decorate your desk space with personal photos. Seeing photos of loved ones and smiling faces throughout the day will help to boost your mood and decrease work-related stress.  

Water. Make sure that your office provides convenient access to ice and purified water. Drinking a healthy amount of water per day is crucial to your health. Employees will drink more water when ice and purified water is available.

Promote health challenges. Everyone loves a little office competition! Start health challenges for your office to compete in. Challenges will help motivate your co-workers and yourself to start creating a healthier office environment.

Start a walking club. Walking clubs are a great way to get in steps throughout the workday. Plan for three, 10-minute walks throughout the day. Keep the walks on a schedule so that everyone knows when they can join in.

Bring in healthy snacks. To create a healthier office, you may want to stop bringing in treats every day. While your office may seem like the perfect place to get rid of your leftover birthday cupcakes, keep in mind that your co-workers may be trying to eat healthy. Seeing treats in the breakroom each day can be too tempting for a lot of people. If you do want to bring in food to share with your co-workers, make sure it’s something light and healthy.

Encourage. One of the best ways to make your office healthier? Encourage one another! Promote a wholesome work environment by practicing healthy communication with your co-workers. Healthy office relationships help reduce stress in the workplace and make everyone happier.  

Creating a healthier office will help make work more enjoyable as well as more productive. While it is important to focus on your work, focusing on your health is just as important for yourself and for your company.

What efforts do you make to keep your office healthy?

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Topics: Company Culture, Healthy Lifestyle, Leadership