Office environments might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of potentially harmful workplaces, but that doesn’t stop them from negatively affecting your health. In fact, working in an office can be far from a safe job, as you’ll see below. Thankfully, there are ways to alter your current desk job to improve health.
Desk Job Dangers to the Body and Mind
Being forced to sit day after day in front of a screen can cause:
- Back aches
- Wrist pain
- Sore eyes
Furthermore, the office environment often seems confined. One reason for that feeling is the lack of natural light. If there’s also no fresh air, that can lead to feelings of tiredness, as well as depressive states.
And, as if that were not enough, it’s important to note that the stressful pace the office environment can link to devastating effects on the mind and body. For example, the WHO describes how stress at work from inflexible working hours and other factors associates with physical and psychological problems. So, before that desk job gets to be too much, start today to make changes to it to improve health. Welcome to the Office 2.0!
Green It Up
While you can’t work outdoors when you have a desk job, you can certainly bring a bit of nature inside by surrounding your desk with air-cleaning plants. The purpose of the greenery is to combat indoor air pollutants that can harm your health and clog your mind.
With the use of these plants, you can to transform harmful carbon dioxide in the air into oxygen as a way to bring fresh, clean air into the office. Spider plants and dracaena are among the easier plants to grow; they can survive for a long time without water, making them a great for forgetful minds. Plus, they remove benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and trichloroethylene from the air. As a result, your head is clear for thinking, and your air is purified.
Desk Job? No Stress, I Pet
You can’t easily change the pace at work, but you can bring in calming elements that reduce stress. For examples, animals are a terrific source of relaxation. While a pet policy in the workplace might at first sound strange, a friendly dog or a cat can have a significant impact on the overall ambiance at work. Petting an animal is known to reduce stress. But the presence of a workplace mascot can also improve communication between teams and help people to take short breaks more often, which can improve health.
Stand Up for Good Health
Sitting too much can kill you. While it can seem difficult to consider a change of career to leave your desk job behind, you can switch to a standing desk. Among the potential benefits of standing desks are:
- Less risk of obesity from a sedentary work style
- Less risk of breast and colon cancers connected to minimal physical activity
- Improvements in posture for reduced back and wrist pain
However, you need to make the switch from a sitting to a standing desk slowly, by introducing an anti-fatigue mat to relax your knees, hips, and ankles. Start by working in a standing position for 20 minutes a day before gradually increasing the time. Otherwise, your body will be under a lot of strain. Over time it might surprise you how much more productive and fitter you are with your new desk versus the previous sitting version.
In conclusion, for the desk worker of the 21st century, a standing desk, potted plant, and a puppy are some of the basics of a happy and healthy office job, day after day.
What are some other ways to improve your current desk job to improve health?