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The Healthy Office: Champion Design Tips 101

A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.
Tom Stoppard (British playwright).

In the spirit of creating a healthier workplace, we offer up a few design tips to take wellness to the next level! As a champion, you can encourage these simple activities by “walking the talk” and practicing these yourself, sharing one at a time, or asking others to join you as part of your champion role. Be creative and use the ideas below with your own splash of color!

 

5K & Half Day: Encourage employees to participate in weekend 5K races (walk or run) by covering the entry fee. Then reward participation with a half-day off on the following Friday (or a drawing for the half-day amongst participants). The runner with the fastest time wins, for example, a drawstring backpack with goodies such as a water bottle, t-shirt, and a reusable icepack for recovery.

Offer Decaf: This alternative is great for those who are trying to reduce their daily intake of caffeine. This can be expanded to other parts of the coffee experience. There are so many alternatives to white sugar… Stevia, Agave, or raw sugar anyone? Green and herbal teas are also cool since there are so many different varieties.

Nap like your kid self: Embrace the mid-day nap! Our bodies follow a circadian rhythm that naturally causes us to be sleepiest between 1 and 3pm. Go for that quick 10 minute nap if your workplace setup allows for it. Imagine: just closing your eyes for a bit to refresh the day!

Take Frequent Breaks: It’s easy to get sucked into the “to-do” list at the start of the day. Before you know it, 2 hours have zipped by without you ever taking a break. Try using a timer to take breaks at regular intervals throughout the day to fight afternoon fatigue. This timer is fairly easy to use, and has an option to get a message on your desktop without sound. Coolness.

Use the Kitchen: If you have a full feature kitchen, cook a healthy meal as a team. While you may only have time to use it every week or two, it can be a great chance to get away from prepackaged food. Think of the variety: salads, greens, low-fat, vegan, macro-biotic; and themes: Southwestern, Ethnic, Italian, etc. The teambuilding gained from this activity is a bonus! You may be surprised by the tasty recipes from your co-workers.

30 Minute Walking Club: Offer to go outside as a group for a few minutes. This increases productivity and the exposure to natural light does a body good. Good day sunshine!

Add some color: Colors have an effect on, emotions so why not use the spectrum to your advantage?  No worries if you can’t paint the walls. Start small with desk accents, and pictures, and beware of colors that strain the eyes. You may gain a reputation as the “rainbow ambassador.”

Maintain Good Posture: It’s important to maintain good posture to prevent strain of the lower/upper back, neck, eyes and wrists. If you’re at a sitting or standing desk, the top of the monitor should be at or slightly below eye level and you should be able to reach the keyboard while keeping your wrists straight, elbows close to your body and at a 90-degree angle. For sitting postures, this means that your feet are flat on the floor and your upper legs are generally parallel to the floor.

 

 ACEC Blog #4

 

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