Office environments may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of potentially harmful workplaces, but that doesn’t stop them from having the ability to negatively affect your health. In fact, working in an office is far from being a safe job! On the contrary, being forced to sit day after day in front of a screen causes not only back and wrist pains, but also headaches and sore eyes.
Additionally, the office environment often feels confined: The lack of natural light and the absence of fresh air can be directly linked to lethargic and depressive states. And as if that were not enough, it’s important to note that the most common cause of death in the modern age for a healthy office worker is heart disease, which is presumed to be a direct consequence of the stressful pace the office environment. So before the office life kills you, it’s still time to implement necessary changes to boost your health. Welcome to the Office 2.0!
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 instead switch to a standing desk. Standing desks are ideal for reducing the risk of obesity that comes from a sedentary work style, and the risk of breast and colon cancers that are connected to reduced physical activities. Besides, standing up improves your posture, which means less back and wrist pain. However, you need to take 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, as your body will find it straining at first. But you’ll be surprised to find yourself getting more productive and fitter as you get used to your new desk.
Green it up
While you can’t work outdoors, you can certainly bring a little piece of nature inside by surrounding your desk with air-cleaning plants. Indoors air pollutants can harm your health and clog your mind. Using plants that transform the harmful carbon dioxide present in the air into oxygen is a way of bringing fresh and clean air into the office. Spider plants and dracaena are among the easier plants to grow – they can survive for extended periods of time without water, which is great for forgetful minds – and they remove benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and trichloroethylene from the air. As a result, your head is clear for thinking, and your air is purified.
No stress, I pet
You can’t easily change the pace in your workplace, but you can bring calming elements that reduce your stress. A pet policy in the workplace might sound odd but 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.
In conclusion, for the desk worker of the 21st century, a standing desk, a potted plant, and a puppy are the basics of a happy and healthy office job, day after day.