July 23rd, 2007 by Jurga Galvan
If you work in an office, it is important to understand good office health practices. Many people don’t give much thought to office health, and they pay the price. Illness, injury, weight gain and stress can result from poor office health habits. The longer you go without attending to these issues, the worse they can become. This is why it’s so important to adopt healthy habits in the workplace. Most people work at least eight hours five days a week. This adds up, and the way you spend this time can really have an effect on your health. It doesn’t have to be a negative effect, however.
One aspect of good office health is ergonomics. Improper posture can lead to injuries like tendonitis, repetitive stress injury, carpal tunnel syndrome and back strain. First, make sure your computer screen is positioned at eye level. Your chair should support your lumbar region and allow you to sit up straight without slouching or bending. Your thighs and knees should be parallel to the floor with your feet positioned under the knees, flat on the floor. Your arms should also be parallel to the floor, with your fingers comfortably reaching the keyboard without reaching or straining. When you type, your wrists shouldn’t rest on the wristpad or keyboard but should hover in a straight line above the keyboard.
For office workers whose job is sedentary, it is important to take time for exercise. Stretching is especially important to keep the body limber. Although it’s a good idea to stretch the entire body every day, it’s even more important to stretch the fingers, hands and wrists regularly throughout the day. This will further help you avoid repetitive stress injury from long term computer use. If you can take some time during your lunch break for a short walk in the sunshine, this can help you stay in shape as well. The diet you consume at work is also an important part of your health.
Many people eat whatever is available or convenient when they’re at work. This might mean sugary coffee and doughnuts in the morning, fast food at lunch and sweet or salty snacks and soft drinks throughout the day. This is a terrible way to eat and can lead to obesity and poor health. If you must have coffee, cut down on the sugar. Skip the doughnuts and have yogurt with granola or a whole wheat bagel with low-fat cream cheese. Instead of soft drinks, drink bottled water throughout the day. Healthy snacks include things like nuts, raisins, raw veggies and fruits. For lunch, pack something healthy from home or order a salad instead of a burger.
Clean air is another important part of good office health. Make use of a good air purifier and don’t allow smoking in the office. Keep furniture dusted and floors vacuumed on a regular basis. Houseplants can improve the look of your office as well as the air quality. When you pay attention to every aspect of office health, the payoff is feeling and even looking better. You’ll have more energy and feel more vibrant at work, and away from work as well.