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  • Writer's pictureHayley Roy

Are Our Office Environments Worse for Our Health Than Smoking?

Do you work in an Office?

In most offices where you sit down for 8 hours or more you will be obese within 10 years, you'll be overweight, diabetic, worn down by mundane tasks and have burned-out. You'll function more slowly, finding it very difficult to break the habits you've formed in your office over years of the same behaviour!

This is happening all around the world. We can all do better than this. We need to reduce healthcare costs, reduce sickness at work and make healthy environments for people to work in where people are happier and healthier!

Here are six ways to save your life....

1) Stop Sitting down all Day!

Most adults spend around 8 hours each day sitting. The World Health Organization now warns that "a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of all causes of mortality, doubling the incidence of heart disease and diabetes". Sitting disease may be more harmful than smoking. Your company can change this. Create rewards for going into the park for a walking meeting and outdoor working areas for mobile devices. Then install standing and treadmill desks. Movement is health.

2) Be Quiet! A Study was carried out by The University of Massachusetts Medical School it indicated that "meditation reduces the number of medical and psychological symptoms by more than 35%." Substantially more research has to be done on meditation, but the flurry of recent data suggests that "quiet time" reduces anxiety and depression, expands the ability to focus, and positively alters the structure of the brain. Offer a quiet area for your staff to go an relax in a soothing environment.

3) Eat Right! Renowned and best-selling medical expert, Dr. Mark Hyman, advises people to "skip the vending machines." Why has it become normal after all the things we know about junk food that we should be able to pick up a can of coke and a mars bar (incidentally this holds over 1/4 of the calories reccomended all day not to mention the caffene and sugar content that will make us nervous with rotting teeth!) Where are the yogurt coated rasins or the carrot sticks, this seriously needs looking at in the workplace.

Spend your money on a personal trainer not a vending machine! Someone who will educate your staff to be healthy! 5) Be Flexible Employees who have a work life balance are more motivated, if they are night owls let them work late, if they are morning people let them come in at 5am and finish 1pm. OK for some people that is a little extreme by technology has allowed us to work from home more easily, why not reduce your business costs and let this happen more and more in your business? It will make your staff happier!

6) Get Your Interior Right!

Long rows of open plan desks make people miserable, uncomfortable chairs give people bad backs, bad lighting gives people sore eyes. If people work in a comfortable, stimulating environment with calming effects in the right places then staff and customers will overall be happier and more productive. Get the interior design right, reduce your staff sickness at work and encourage your customers to return again and again!

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