According to to the CDC, nearly 90% of our lives are spent indoors. Especially when you think about how half of your home time is most likely spent in bed sleeping. So, if you’re prioritizing your team’s health in the workplace, there are several ways to encourage positive and healthy habits, even in a cubicle.
Here are some simple and healthy ways to support your employees’ health in the office:
1. Increase natural light
If there is any way to add natural light to your building, it can significantly help workers feel better throughout the day. It can reduce eye strain and help employees to feel more connected to the outside world.
2. Keep water at your desk
Hydrating with water is literally one of the easiest and cheapest ways to help every single system in your body feel better and work more optimally. Perhaps even offering a reusable water bottle for employees to keep on their desks would encourage them to stay hydrated as well.
3. Move around often!
The studies have all come out and been heard, sitting for long periods of time is terrible for your body and your mind. Encourage employees to get up, move around, take quick walks around the office or even step outside for 15 minutes. Just a few moments of physical activity can truly rejuvenate a brain with new ideas and fresh oxygen.
4. Remember to use proper posture when sitting
While sitting is not the greatest, you can still strengthen your abdominal, back, and shoulder muscles with proper posture. When choosing chairs for employees, make sure you prioritize ergonomic chairs.
Functional desks are a new addition to office furniture. Standing, and even walking, desks are a great alternative to offer employees who would like more physical activity while still being productive.
5. Set reminder alarms
If you are forgetting to hydrate or standing up to take a walking break, set alarms on your computer or phone to take a drink or to stand up. If you start ignoring your alarms, perhaps try an accountability partner. Ask an office friend to start taking a drink or walk breaks with you. Having a friend hold you accountable for your habits is a great way to encourage healthy habits in the workplace.
6. Add greenery
If you can’t look at nature through a window, studies have shown that adding plants and greenery to a space can still help people feel more relaxed and in a more positive mental state. When in doubt, add green plants to your workspace. Plants are so beneficial for mental health by reducing stress hormones and sick days while increasing productivity and creativity.
7. Clean your workspace at the end of each day
No matter how many snack crumbs or sticky notes are on your desk by the end of a busy day, taking the last 5 minutes of your workday to clean up your area will allow you to start your next day with a clean space and a clear head. Studies have shown time and time again that a tidy space helps our minds think more clearly.
Some items on this list, like increasing the amount of natural light available to employees may be unfeasible for you to change or may take a significant amount of time to change. Other changes are simple, but impactful, such as adding a few plants or offering employees a new water bottle to keep on their desk. Habits are difficult to start (or stop), but what you do every day is how you end up spending your life. If you incorporate just one new healthy habit in your life in the year 2022, it can set your health on a completely new trajectory.