Did you know that sitting in the office for long hours working at computers is actually devastating for your health? This is true for a number of reasons, but chief among them are the following facts:
- Sitting at a desk causes us to constantly hunch forward to reach for the keyboard and mouse while looking down at the monitor. This results in a hunched posture.
- Sitting at the desk, most of us will be slumped slightly so that our stomachs are compressed making it difficult for us to breathe properly.
- This also has the effect of straining and weakening the glutes as well as the muscles at the base of the spine (erector spinae). This causes back pain.
- Having our legs up shortens our quadriceps which results in a disproportionate force on the pelvis resulting in a slight tilt that causes yet more issues.
- Sitting for long hours slows down the metabolism and circulatory system, weakening the heart and adding to weight gain.
- Looking at the computer for long hours strains the eyes.
- Stress from the work place taxes the immune system and damages our mood. Constant phone calls and deadlines leave us in a constant state of anxiety which can lead to numerous
- Lack of natural light prevents our body from recognising the correct time of day which damages the quality of our sleep.
- Lack of natural light also results in low vitamin D leading to weakened bones and joints and possible early onset of dementia.
- Close proximity to other staff in a small space can encourage the spread of disease making us more likely to get a cold.
As you can see then, the typical workplace is bad for us in a huge number of different ways. And that means that if you’re employing someone, you’re actually responsible for a lot of damage to their health. Not only is this distressing from a moral perspective though, it’s also worrying in terms of workplace productivity.
So what can you do? Here are some strategies you can use to combat all of these issues and to ensure your staff are as healthy and comfortable as possible.
- Promote natural light by using large windows. Avoid claustrophobic feelings by finding a larger .
- Reduce stress by choosing a workplace that will be more easily commutable for the maximum number of people.
- Encourage regular breaks and provide facilities such as places to relax and chat.
- Consider standing desks to be used while checking e-mails etc.
- Use light and bright colors in your décor to create a more spacious and relaxing feeling workplace
- Allow staff to move around the office with portable, mobile technology such as tablets and ultrabooks
- Keep staff engaged by using flexible and varied tasks and jobs in the office such that your employees will very rarely be doing the same thing multiple days in a row.
- Use desks that are the right height – they should allow staff to relax their arms at 90 degrees.
- Use adjustable seats
- Make sure the monitor is at natural eye height
- And most importantly of all… ask your staff what would make them more comfortable!