Everyday thousands of UK residents wake up and head straight to the office, spending the next eight hours glued to their desks.
And whilst we commend this clear dedication and productivity, many are putting themselves at risk of unhealthy lifestyles often associated with the office environment.
Therefore, we thought both employers and employees alike could do with a few tips to ensure that they are promoting a healthy office lifestyle as much as possible. Read on for more information:
A Few Office Related Statistics
Last year the Public Health England co-commissioned a study which has since called for a workplace revolution to avoid the risks of a sedentary lifestyle. Something which is becoming increasingly more common amongst the British population.
With inactivity cited as one of the country’s major health issues, it has long been deemed that sitting for extended periods of time is linked to a host of health problems.
The British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that office workers spend 65% to 75% of their working hours sitting with 50% regularly eating lunch at their desks. This works out at an average of 8.9 hours each day. And it doesn’t take a genius to realise that figure isn’t doing any of us any favours.
However, with a few simple changes, such as the ones below, you can drastically improve your immediate and long term health. In fact, according to a BBC report 5.2lbs is the estimated amount of weight that can be lost by standing up for just an extra 30 minutes a day for a year.
5 Great Tips to Get You Started
Plan Ahead & Eat Right
It is easy to forget breakfast during a busy morning, but you should start your day right with a healthy and nutritious dish. After an overnight fast, doing so will provide the body and brain with fuel, energy, and important nutrients to improve memory and concentration. Many studies suggest that eating a balanced breakfast is great for the waistline too, with those doing so on a regular basis less likely to be overweight.
Forget lunch time restaurant stops or Tesco meal deal and start prepping your own lunches. Not only are you then in control of portion sizes and calorie intake buy you’re likely to save a small fortune over the course of the year; which according to the Mail Online could equate to an average of £90,000 during a lifetime.
Avoid fizzy and sugary drinks which overload the body with unnecessary and unnatural sugars and opt for the occasional cup of coffee or green tea instead. And, as we all know the office can become flooded with sweet treats handed to you by an array of colleagues. These can contribute to hundreds of additional calories a day so opt for oatmeal, fruit and nuts for slow releasing energy instead.
Drink Plenty of Water
How much water do you drink on a daily basis? On average you should be consuming between 2 and 4 litres every day. Why? Well, the associated benefits of doing so are essential to improved health and productivity.
Not only can water aid with weight loss, maintain the body’s fluid balance, contribute to clearer skin, and bust fatigue but can improve your productivity. Great news for any boss.
A study conducted by the University of East London demonstrated that drinking more water can result in a 14% increase in productivity. How? Well, water helps your blood transport oxygen and other nutrients to your cells ensuring an energy boost. It has also been proven that a lack of water shrinks your brain tissue and makes it harder for you to think. Being well hydrated therefore improves our memory, attention, and motor skills ensuring that everyone in the office performs better cognitively.
Perhaps not so surprisingly but bringing the outdoors in can have considerably positive effects on the performance and mood of employees. In fact, The Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests that office plants can increase employee output by approximately 15%.
The introduction of plants within the office space can significantly improve the quality of air where foliage absorbs the unhealthy toxins and replaces them with clean oxygen.
In fact, there’s so much to praise we’ve written an entire blog dedicated to the benefits of plants within the office.
Keep Moving & Stay Active
With the average office worker sitting for approximately 8.9 hours a day it’s time to encourage each other to keep moving. Studies have suggested that sitting for more than 7 hours a day can lead to an 5% increased risk of premature death for every additional hour. Quite staggering figures we think you’ll agree.
We’d suggest that you get up and out of your chair every 90 minutes and take a little walk, whether to the kitchen or a lap around the building. Whilst some might consider this counterproductive we’d argue the opposite. Even just a five minute break from the screen can restore energy levels, refresh the mind, and foster creativity meaning that employees come back to their desks even more productive.
Try to avoid eating lunch at your desk every day and get up and take a walk. You can even purchase nifty desk exercise equipment, from steppers and ankle weights to miniature exercise bikes and ab inducing stability cushions, to keep you moving all day long.
Go for Ergonomics
Back problems, neck aches, eyestrain, and headaches are common ground for office workers who neglect their posture. However, the right chair can make a world of difference with one report from Haworth stating that you can expect to see a 17.7% productivity increase with highly adjustable seats.
A good chair can support your body and allow you to sit comfortably whilst moving freely around your desk. But what should you look out for?
- Adjustable seat depths allow you to slide the seat to suit the length of your legs.
- Adjustable height features ensure that your feet are flat against the floor and legs positioned at a 90° angle.
- Reclining features allow you to tilt back to both comfortably see your work and stretch throughout the day.
- Lumbar support ensures that your chair is supportive of the natural curvature of your spine without creating pressure points.
- Armrests are essential features for great posture as they provide the proper support whilst both working and resting.
- A swivel base will also allow you to move more freely without twisting your back when reaching other parts of your desk.
More Help from the Office Supermarket Team
We have a host of ergonomic and orthopaedic chairs available to ensure continued support for office workers up and down the country. If you have any questions regarding any of our products, or simply need some advice regarding the best solution for you, give the team a call on 0344 755 3018 for more information.
Alternatively, why not take a look at this Posture Advice Guide to ensure that you, your team, and your colleagues safely working to minimise the effects of bad posture.