So what are we all supposed to do—quit law and spend all day moving?
Fortunately, creating a healthier workspace isn’t that extreme. (And just so you know, the vast majority of research says that you should combine sitting and standing throughout the day. Stand up while you’re on the phone, reading your email, or checking your smartphone; sit the rest of the time, and you should be just fine.)
3 Essentials for a Healthier Workplace
Ideally, you’ll have a good work-life balance (yeah, right) and you won’t need to make major adjustments to your office space to make it healthier.
If you do, though, experts suggest:
1. Clearing the air.
Occupational allergies, such as sensitivity to paint, chemicals in the carpet, or other issues can be a major problem if you’re cooped up in your office all day, so experts suggest improving ventilation by cracking a window and adding some live plants. (English Ivy doesn’t even require much light, which means it’s a great plant for an indoor, fluorescent-lit workspace.)
Even if you don’t have any physical symptoms, a Harvard study says that offices with good ventilation and low levels of air pollutants are linked to better performance levels.
2. Keeping a water jug and an apple at your desk.
You think better when you’re hydrated, and every system in your body works better, too. Circulation, digestion, and even your ability to maintain the right body temperature depend on you being hydrated.
So why the apple? It won’t provide you with the zap of energy that a cup of coffee can, but it will fuel your body and helps stabilize your blood sugar. Apples are ideal because they contain calories, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals—and they each have about 4 grams of fiber, which help you feel full and stay energized for longer.
3. Put your desk near the window—any window.
Studies from Northwestern University show that people who actually have windows in their offices are more physically active and that they get better sleep than those who don’t. Natural daylight helps your stress levels stay down, and it can help you stay motivated and energized throughout the day.
No window? No problem. You can get an artificial sun lamp and receive almost the same benefits.
What Do You Think?
What are your suggestions for keeping a healthier office? I’d love to hear them, so please, share your ideas on my Twitter or Facebook.