According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, accounting for about 6 per cent of deaths worldwide. Thus, health experts are encouraging individuals to stay active and avoid sitting down for prolonged periods.
Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to avoid physical inactivity if your work line involves sitting behind a desk all day. To make matters worse, experts have discovered that exercising to make up for sitting hours doesn’t even reduce the risk of developing chronic illnesses in the end.
Thankfully, it turns out there are plenty of ways to improve your health despite having a sedentary working arrangement. From wearing compression socks at work to using the stairs, a few simple lifestyle changes can make a lot of difference in keeping yourself healthy. With that said, here is a list of several tips that can help you make your workspace more conducive to wellness.
Tips to Make Your Workspace Healthier
Take Frequent Breaks to Either Stand or Walk Around
Based on a 2015 study from the UK, people who spend most of the day sitting down should stand or walk around for a minimum of two hours per day to avoid the health risks resulting from too much sitting. You can easily do this by taking breaks every half an hour to stand or walk around your office for five minutes or so. This will not just help you improve your physical health, but it will also help increase your work productivity.
Read: Athleisure To Work
Try Switching Your Standard Desk to a Different Type of Desk
Given the risks associated with sitting behind a desk all day, many have opted to use other workspace configurations instead. One of the most popular standard desk substitutes is what people call standing desks. As the name implies, these are desks designed to allow one to work while standing up. Unfortunately, staying on your feet the entire day is not ideal either, as this can result in foot pain and swelling.
That said, your best bet would be to get an adjustable desk that you can convert into a standing or sitting desk whenever you want. This will help you reduce the amount of time you spend sitting down while also preventing you from having to stand up for extended periods.
Keep Windows Open to Let Fresh Air and Natural Light In
Enclosed office environments are more likely to trigger allergies that can dampen the productivity of an individual. Thus, it’s essential to open your windows from time to time to let fresh air in. This can help revitalize your workplace and eliminate allergens that are floating around. Additionally, you can use this opportunity to embrace natural lighting, which helps keep your stress levels and circadian rhythm in check.
Read: Occupational Health
Add a Touch of Green to Your Office
An environmental psychologist at Design with Science associated different green shades with enhanced creative thinking, which makes these good colors to have in the workplace. As luck may have it, it’s straightforward to incorporate green elements in your office.
While it would be ideal to have the office walls painted green, you can install green wallpaper on your cubicle’s interior walls instead. Another way to add a touch of green is to display a plant in your workstation. Having a plant or two within your workspace promotes creativity and wellness and aids in purifying the air around you.
Most desk jobs may leave people susceptible to various health risks, but this doesn’t mean that you have to give up on living a healthy and active lifestyle. Together with eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly, the practices listed above can help keep you in good shape even if you have to spend hours sitting behind a desk daily.