We spend the majority of our time at work, which means that when we’re in the office we need to be sure that we’re taking proper care of ourselves. Ben Thompson, founder of office fruit delivery company Fruitdrop, shares five steps to ensuring your workplace and employees are as healthy as they can be.
1. Office basics
Most people don’t realise the extent to which bad posture can result in chronic back pain until it’s too late – especially when most office workers spend at least a third of their day at a desk. Back pain will most certainly decrease your productivity and could also cost you lots of time and money to fix. To avoid back pain as well as repetitive strain injuries to hands, wrists and arms, you need to start with the office design basics. First, look at your desk and chair. Would an ergonomic chair or Pilates ball improve your posture? Standing desks might be worth experimenting with too. They might sound odd and it feels weird when you first try to work while standing at a raised desk, but they can also make you more focused by forcing you to stand upright. This infographic by MedicalBillingandCoding.com – somewhat ominously titled ‘Sitting is Killing You’ – demonstrates just how bad sitting for long periods of time can actually be for your health.
2. Office snacks
The temptation to reach for a chocolate bar is particularly strong when you’re in the middle of a major piece of work and need that extra energy hit. However, choosing healthy snacks instead is more likely to result in a healthy and productive workforce. For example, a weekly office fruit delivery from Fruitdrop is a hassle-free way of getting your staff to reach for a piece of fruit rather than biscuits or crisps.
Nuts are a great source of vitamins and minerals including vitamin E, B6, Biotin, Selenium, Magnesium and Zinc – all good for the brain, immune system and skin. Nuts also contain healthy monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, which are good for you in moderation.
3. Office colour
It’s widely known that sunshine, natural light and green plants boost happiness hormones and affect employee wellbeing – but studies have also found that bright colours work to stimulate our brains in the workplace. According to colour psychologist Angela Wright, strong blue stimulates clear thought whilst lighter, soft blue will calm the mind and aid concentration. Yellow inspires creativity and green creates calming balance and harmony.
4. Office yoga
How about starting your day with a yoga session to stretch out your joints and get the flow of positive energy going in your body? Yoga followed by meditation can help you focus and let go of negative thoughts. A dedicated relaxation corner or room with a few yoga mats might be all you need in your office for employees who are familiar with yoga. For beginners, you could get a yoga teacher in once a week to run morning or lunchtime sessions. There are plenty of health benefits if you practice yoga regularly including improved blood circulation, balanced metabolism, better body posture, reduced stress and enhanced memory – all of which act can as preventative measures for potential health problems. This article on NursingDegree.Net outlines a whopping 77 health benefits of yoga.
5. Office naps
If yoga and meditation isn’t your bag – and let’s face it, it’s not for everyone – then a short nap might help you regain your strength and boost your energy instead of yet another strong cup of coffee. Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post has said: “Sleep is a performance enhancement tool”. Huffington is famously sleep-obsessed and encourages her employees to get more by keeping futuristic-looking “nap pods” in her offices.
Of course, we’re not saying you should add all these things into your office’s daily routine – you need to think about which would be most beneficial and most important to your staff. Sending out a simple survey to all employees is a great way to find out how people feel that office life could be improved. Naturally, we’d always advocate starting with the fruit delivery!