Healthy Workspaces and the “Un-Fatting” of America

Posted: 12.23.14
Category: Special Events

Let’s face it; the world thinks that America is fat. Unfortunately, the statistics support the statement. In a hyper-connected world where 80% of Americans are spending even more time working “after hours,” and remaining more sedentary – is making us even fatter.  A dire need for behavioral changes that fit this new “work lifestyle” are the goal, because working harder and longer isn’t going anywhere.

Taking advantage of a healthy workspace can help to counteract the ill effects of working so much, and some architects and planners are designing-in features, which naturally encourage a more active lifestyle. In order to swing the pendulum, workers must start by making a healthier choice in activities at work.

Here are five benefits that employees can take advantage of while at work:

  1. Active Design:  Spaces that have been configured and embrace active design encourage more activity during the day.  Perhaps the cafeteria is on another floor, or recycling requires walking to the other side of the office. More intensive characteristics include a central staircase or perhaps skip-and-step elevator systems. Don’t avoid the stairs or the hike across the office to the recycling room.  Embrace them.
  2. The Great Outdoors: Many large outdoor campuses in suburban areas establish walkways that connect buildings that can also serve as an exercise opportunity. Many building designs feature outdoor patio areas next to the conference room, which allow for people to get outside and literally get a breath of fresh air.  During nice weather, they also provide another productive workspace for employees to gather and collaborate.
  3. Let the Sunshine In:  Allowing more natural light in the workspace has been shown to increase productivity according to a study conducted by the researchers at the Interdepartmental Neuroscience program at Northwestern University in Chicago. Having a quality view (the trees and the sky) tended to have a positive effect on employee’s overall health, sleep disorders and daytime dysfunction leading to higher productivity.
  4. Collaborative Workspaces:  Who said that work should be done in a cubicle at a desk? Companies like Cisco, Microsoft and Facebook rely on collaborative workspaces to encourage creativity while also attracting Y Generation workers who believe work should be an experience among others.  Check out these inspiring workspaces for ideas on how you can create areas that help beat the “sedentary doldrums,” and encourage activity and collaboration.
  5. Environment Ergonomics:  Standing tables, treadmill desks, and comfortable, stylish conference furnishings are making their way into the workspace as companies create communal areas throughout their offices that hold the tools to encourage activity and collaboration.

 

AFR Furniture Rental® understands the value of health-focused workspaces. Increased productivity, more energy, and higher office morale along with the benefits of a more active lifestyle all contribute to lower illness rates and better health. For Americans looking to beat the unfavorable stereotype, working healthy is a great way to embrace a more active lifestyle.