We spend about half of our waking hours in the workplace, and for those people who are office based this means sitting behind a desk using a screen for most of the day. This sedentary kind of working lifestyle is not particularly healthy, but don’t worry, there are plenty of little steps that any employer can make to improve the workplace and therefore help to improve the health of their workforce.
And of course, improving the health of the workforce should hopefully result in less sick day being taken, making a better situation for all concerned.
Whilst you might not have heard of them before, the concept of a standing desk is in fact nothing new. The standing desk was incredibly popular during the 18th and 19th century, Leonardo da Vinci and Ernest Hemmingway are amongst the notable standing desk enthusiasts of that time.
There are several suggested health benefits linked to using a standing desk, the biggest being that the user isn’t sitting all day long, however standing all day isn’t especially good either. It is worth making the space in your office to install a couple of standing desks that your employees could share the use of, good practice when using a standing desk is to move whilst standing to aid circulation.
Fresh fruit is a great way to inject an element of healthier eating into your office space. Arrange for a fruit basket to be delivered to your office once or twice a week, depending on the size of your workforce, and place this in your break room. Not only is fresh fruit healthier than a vending machine but it will provide a much better boost than a chocolate bar or packet of crisps in the middle of the morning or afternoon when people are flagging.
Make sure you have sufficient water coolers in your office to provide cool water for your staff. During the warmer months, it is especially important to keep an eye on your stock of water bottles so that you don’t run out, you may want to order in a few more than normal to make sure that you are covered for any periods of warmer weather.
Organize lunchtime activities
In today’s busy, and often stress-filled offices far too many people grab a quick lunch at their desk and continue working instead of taking the time they are allowed away from their desks. Why not set up a lunchtime running group in your office to encourage people to get out into the fresh air and away from their desks. Not everyone is fond of running, so you might want to consider a walking group as well. Being out in the fresh air will help your employees to feel invigorated and more productive for the afternoon.
Fresh air is a great way to make the workplace healthier so where possible make sure that windows can be opened. Sitting in a hot stuffy office with no fresh air in the summer can make people lethargic and desk fans just move the same air around.
Why not organize some fun days out during the summer for all your staff. Perhaps a picnic in a local park, where they can bring their children as well. Organize some games for both the adults and the children; rounders and football work well. Or perhaps a walking group, taking trips to local beauty spots. Walking as a group is a great way to get fit and boost the camaraderie of your office staff at the same time, as the weather improves people want to be outdoors and this is a great way to achieve this.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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