Workplace health and safety are topics that don’t see as much focus as they should. Proper ergonomics for employees will help reduce the incidence of workplace injury, but there are several other things that need to be done to really ramp up the healthiness of an office environment. While some of these changes can be done by individual employees, employers can do much more to enhance the health quality of the workplace. Below, you will find four important tips to increasing workplace and worker health.
Consider Standup Desks
When you think of a desk, chances are good that you picture the standard model – a flat surface a couple of feet off the floor with space for a chair and room underneath for the worker’s legs. While sit-down desks are still the norm, many companies are beginning to implement standup desks. These are designed to allow the employee to stand up and complete their duties, rather than sitting down. A mounting body of evidence suggests that long periods of sitting actually contribute to significant health problems.
Most workplaces use the most cost-effective type of lighting (usually fluorescents). However, that’s not necessarily the best option for creating a healthy workplace. Natural light is better for the eyes, improves vision and can also enhance mood and productivity. Letting in plenty of natural light is as simple as opening the blinds on your office’s windows. If your office lacks enough windows to make this feasible, look into lights that mimic natural sunlight’s wavelength and color.
Add a Fitness Area
Encouraging workers to take a break from the job and get their hearts pumping is actually a good thing for both your workers’ health and your company’s bottom line. It doesn’t have to be all that expensive, either. Find an unused office or area in your workplace and add a couple of treadmills and an elliptical machine or two. Encourage your employees to take periodic breaks and exercise. This gets them out of their sitting position, enhances blood flow and also improves overall health.
Encourage Healthier Eating
Lunch in an office environment is usually an unhealthy affair. Your employees might be wolfing down a massive burger and fries, or they might be eating quickly so they can get back to their responsibilities. They might be skipping lunch altogether. Encourage healthier eating in your employees. You can do this in a number of ways, including introducing meal plan suggestions, or hiring a healthy food vendor to come to the office. Of course, it helps if you (the manager or owner) are able to lead by example. Encourage your employees to take their entire lunchtime, too.
Creating a healthy workplace doesn’t have to require a revolutionary change. Small steps in the right direction can result in big improvements. Start small and think smart. Encourage your employees to get out of the rut and do things differently. Of course, you need to think differently as well.
We hear the term thrown around a lot in discussions of office furniture, but just what is ergonomic seating? The definition isn’t always so easy to nail down, but experts, such as the team at SitBetter.com, have made it their business to acquire substantial knowledge about this issue and have developed a large body of data to their definition of the term.
According to the IEA, ergonomics is the study of human interactions and other elements within a system. The professional industry that applies those major theories utilizes data, principles and leading methodologies to design seating that optimizes the comfort, productivity and overall well being of the people with any system. Quite simply, this means that office seating should be an integral component of your healthy workplace.
Office seating is often woefully overlooked due to issues such as budget, time and convenience. The good news is that online furniture companies offer office seating solutions that can greatly improve your workplace without overstretching your budget. When people are comfortable, they are more likely to want to stay in the environment they are in, but office seating should be much more than comfortable. It should also provide adequate support and optimal positioning to reduce the likelihood of stress, injury and overuse. These factors all make for a happier, healthier and more productive place of business.
What Features You Should Consider
Ergonomic chairs share several features that separate them from average seating options, including the following:
- Adequate cushioning for long periods of sitting
- Adjustable height and incline for different body types
- Allows full range of motion for legs and arms when necessary
- Designed to support the spine, neck and shoulders
When you have this type of furniture in your workplace, there is less chance for injuries, workplace compensation and even lawsuits. But more importantly, there are more opportunities for productivity and increased morale. People are better able to work long hours, when they are without pain and stress and when they have the proper place to sit and work along with periodic breaks to stretch and walk around for a minute or two.
To view Sitbetter’s large collection of ergonomic office chairs please click here!