With the average UK worker putting in eight hours a day, five days a week, it’s fair to say that what happens inside the office can have a major impact on your life outside the office. So we’ve compiled our top 10 tips for a healthy office so you and your colleagues can enjoy a happier, more productive working environment, and hopefully a better work / life balance too.
- Shake up your commute: Getting stuck in traffic isn’t exactly the most relaxing way to kickstart your working day. Where possible, make the switch to public transport and jump off a couple of stops early. Squeezing in just 10 minutes of exercise before clocking in will leave you feeling invigorated and ready to take on the day.
- Perfect posture: Not having your chair at the right height and your computer screen tilted at the correct angle can lead to issues such as Tension Neck Syndrome. Adjust your office furniture accordingly and be aware of your posture. When you find yourself slouching, straighten up!
- Keep it clean: Your computer keyboard, mouse and phone can harbour thousands of germs so it’s important to keep them clean. Disinfect them on a regular basis to avoid the spread of sickness bugs.
- Make a move: An eight-hour working day is a long time to be sitting stationary at a desk, so when possible, get up and move about to keep the circulation flowing. Need to pay a visit to a colleague on another floor? Take the stairs rather than the lift to get the blood pumping.
- Well watered: Dehydration is more common than you think – many of us aren’t drinking the recommended eight glasses of water per day which can leave us lacking in energy. So make a conscious effort to drink more; either keep a large bottle on your desk to top up your glass, or even better, use it as an excuse to walk to the kitchen to top up at the tap. That way you’ll be stretching your legs and killing two birds with the same stone.
- Limit your cake intake: It’s a lovely idea to mark employee’s birthdays and business achievements with a little celebration, but when you’ve got a large team it can sometimes feel like there’s an endless supply of cake and sweet treats on offer. In fact there has been much in the news recently about the effects of ‘office cake culture’. So try mixing things up by providing healthier alternatives such as fresh fruit or limit the treats to just once a month.
- Take a screen break: Staring at a screen all day can leave eyes feeling tired and dry, and after prolonged periods it can lead to eye strain. Always make sure your screen is an arm’s length away and if you find yourself squinting at the screen, book yourself in for an eye test.
- Unwind body and mind: It can be tempting to skip a break here and there when you’ve got looming deadlines but it’s important to unwind, both physically and mentally. Ideally, step away from your desk and enjoy a change of scene. Head outside for some fresh air for example and take a moment to breathe deeply.
- Don’t over-do it: Staying late at work on the odd occasion isn’t too much to worry about, but if you find yourself consistently putting in the extra hours, it can have serious implications on your health. Speak with your superiors, discuss your workload and try to come up with a more manageable solution.
- Speak up: Of course there are times when we all feel the pressure at work. But if you find your stress levels are consistently high, it’s time to talk. Speak to a superior about how you’re feeling and be open to accepting help if you need it.
If you’d like further information on how to boost the health of your office, get in touch with YourGP’s team of Occupational Health specialists on 0131 225 5656 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.