5 Steps to Creating and Maintaining Healthy Workspaces

Posted by Robyn Whalen on Thu, Sep, 06, 2018

When you take a look at your office desk, what do you see? Are there papers sprawled everywhere? Lingering trash from yesterday’s lunch? Or is there simply nothing but blank walls and empty desk space? Believe it or not, your personal workspace has the power to either positively or negatively impact your overall health and mental wellbeing.


Unhealthy workspaces can cause stress and make it difficult to concentrate at work. Not to mention, a chaotic workspace doesn’t exactly scream professionalism. By taking the time to organize and revamp your desk, office, or cubicle, you can boost productivity and help reduce some workplace stress.

Creating and maintaining a healthy workspace is about more than just getting rid of some clutter. It’s about creating a space that promotes healthy habits and helps you feel comfortable and calm throughout your workday. If your workspace makes you feel anything but zen, it might be time for a little makeover. 

Designing Healthy Workspaces

Step #1: Reorganize

A cluttered, unorganized desk is a recipe for disaster. In fact, a survey by OfficeMax found that 90% of Americans believe clutter has a negative impact on their lives and work. Decluttering and reorganizing your desk is the first step to a healthier workspace. 

Start by sorting through everything sitting on your desktop and inside your desk drawers. Recycle or shred all old papers, throw away old coffee mugs, and return any excess office supplies to your supply closet. Only keep the essentials. And don’t forget about your junk drawer! 

It’s also a good idea to invest in a desk organizer. There are many different types of desk organizers for any budget. You can also check with your office manager to see if you can order a desk organizer from your company’s office supplier.

Step #2: Get Cleaning

Many employees don’t clean their desks on a regular basis. In fact, only about 64% of employees clean their desktops once a month or less. Between food and shared office supplies, it’s no wonder desks are a hotspot for germs. The average work desk harbors 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat – yuck. 

To keep your desk clean and reduce the number of germs you spread around the office, you should aim to clean your workspace at least once a week. Keep a pack of antibacterial wet wipes in your drawer and use these to sanitize your entire area. Don’t forget to wipe down your telephone, keyboard, mouse, chair arms, and stapler!

Step #3: Stock Up! 

Once your workspace is clean and tidy, it’s time to start stocking up on some healthy snacks! Load up on some healthy desk snacks that you can eat during the workday when you start getting hungry. Having healthy snacks on-hand will make the vending machine and leftover birthday cake in the break room a little less tempting when your stomach starts growling. Some of our favorite healthy desk snacks include:

  • Almonds
  • 100% whole-wheat crackers
  • Nut butter
  • Healthy trail mix
  • Raisins
  • Dried fruit
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Granola
  • Popcorn
  • Jerky
  • Tuna packs

Step #4: Make it Yours

A bare, empty desk isn’t great for productivity – and it certainly won’t help you feel comfortable at work. Sprucing up your desk a bit will help make your workspace feel a bit more like home. Add some plants, family pictures, and some small, colorful décor.

Step #5 Make it Movement-Friendly

Sitting all day is anything but healthy. To create a healthy workspace, you’ll want to redesign your desk to provide opportunities for standing and stretching. If your company doesn’t supply standing desks, you can easily DIY with some supplies from around the office! If you have the room for it, bring in an exercise ball to sit on every few hours of the day, or store a travel-sized yoga mat under your desk for afternoon stretches. 

Feeling comfortable and calm in your office space are basic needs that contribute to your overall work performance. Redesigning your workspace is one small thing you can do to help you feel healthier, happier, and more productive. 

How do you maintain a healthy workspace? Share some ideas in the comment section below!

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Topics: Healthy Workplaces


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