Wouldn’t it be great if you could get fit while you’re at work? Here we’re going to look at some ways you can transform your office into a healthy workplace:
5 Ideas for a healthy workplace
1. Treadmill Desks: When these were first launched a few years back many people had a bit of a giggle about them. But now evidence is pointing to the fact that these can not only improve your employees’ health and wellbeing, but productivity too! Doing exercise naturally energises us, improves your mood and releases tension; this then increases employees’ focus, ability to concentrate and productivity levels.
2. Encourage employees to use the stairs: If you’ve got a lift in your building how about giving employees a good reason to use the stairs instead? While having a lift permanently ‘out of order’ is not going to be an option, you could produce some signage that makes people think twice before hopping in the lift. Taking the stairs burns about 7 times more calories than taking a lift, approximately 0.17 calories for every step you climb. Amazingly stair climbing burns more calories a minute than jogging, so perhaps lunchtimes could involve reps on the stairs instead of a jog around the block!
3. Exercise classes: Not all companies have room for a fully equipped gym in their office, or one nearby. But you might have enough space in a boardroom or staff room for a yoga or Pilates class. These can be particularly beneficial for staff after sitting at a desk for a long period of time, helping them strengthen their core, stretch out those muscles that haven’t been doing much for some time, and reduce stress in other muscles, such as shoulders, neck and back.
4. Help staff eat healthily: Getting fit is not just about burning calories it’s also about reducing the number of calories we consume and eating a healthier diet. Many offices have vending machines stocked with chocolate bars, crisps and fizzy drinks; others provide biscuits in the staffroom, or even burgers and chips in the canteen. If your employees are trying to be ‘good’ this can be a terrible temptation, so provide an alternative! Fresh fruit and veg, low calorie options, and healthy snacks. Go a step further and have a healthy lunch in the office, soup for example, instead of relying on what’s available from the sandwich van.
5. Encourage movement in your workplace: An office redesign can really help improve our sedentary lifestyles. Think about your office layout as it currently is. Do your employees have opportunities throughout their day to move around, or could they easily sit at their desk and not move again until 5.30pm? Instead of having everything to hand, such as a printer just a swivel away, we need to build in movement in our offices so that people have to get up and walk around throughout the day.
Phil Green, Managing Director at CBS Office Interiors