7 Ways to Make Your Work Environment a Healthy Space

Changing your work environment can mean a healthier body, clearer mind and increased productivity!

Healthy goes beyond just your physical body. Managing the wellness of your body AND mind, especially at work, can have an impact on your fitness, happiness and productivity. Read on to learn how you can improve your work environment and make it work for you!

1. Make your desk your zone.

If you have an office job like me, you probably spend a lot of time at your desk. So decorate with items that express who you are and capture your individuality. The more comfortable, inspired and stress-free you are, the more enabled you are to think clearly, solve problems effectively and get in that hard-to-reach productivity zone. I like to keep rocks on my desk that I collected from trips I’ve been on. They are nice to look at and provide something for me to play with when I’m feeling restless.

2. Plant some plants.

Not only are plants pretty to look at, but they can help clean the air around you and create a better work environment.

“Several studies show that having live indoor plants in a room will not only add oxygen to the air, but will also remove harmful toxins. Having indoor plants [at] a workplace can improve productivity and alleviate stress, often resulting in less sick days taken by employees compared to companies with artificial plants, or no plants at all. Plants help to absorb sound and reduce echoes in large spaces. They also soften hard lines and corners improving the overall aesthetics of a room.” – Matt Lovejoy, Interiorscape Designer at Cactus and Tropicals 

3. Take lunch breaks.

Make lunch an event. Take 30 minutes out of your day to let your mind wander away from work responsibilities, and maybe go to that island you’ve always wanted to visit. Walk to get lunch or a destination where you can eat, somewhere that is NOT your desk. Walking can increase focus, boost productivity, inspire creativity and maintain your all-important sanity.

While you are up and walking to lunch, also take a moment to stretch out. Sitting all day can put our bodies in unnatural positions for hours at a time. Do a few head rolls, (try) to touch your toes and stretch out your spine. You will feel more awake and you will thank yourself 20 years from now.

4. Sit on a stability ball or use a standing desk.

I don’t know about you guys, but I have a hard time sitting all day at a desk. I use a stability ball to increase core strength which helps reduce back pain, but also to prevent myself from getting restless. Another solution is to use a standing desk. There are many ready-made standing desks, but you can make one yourself relatively inexpensively.

5. Keep a stockpile of healthy snacks.

When you get too hungry, you are more likely to make unhealthy choices. Prevent yourself from getting hangry and keep fruit, vegetables, low-fat string cheese, yogurt, nuts or popcorn available at your office. Here are even more ideas to get your started. Snacks are good, so eat them!

6. Use your vacation time.

Seriously. Unplug completely and hang out in your own inner-world bliss. Burnout is a real thing, and it’s important to recharge those batteries. As reported by Forbes Magazine, a remarkable 55% of US workers don’t use their vacation days, resulting in $61.4 in annual forfeited benefits. Taking a break is important for your mental and physical health, as well as productivity and performance.

7. Drink up!

Drinking adequate amounts of water has many benefits. Healthier skin, better digestion, improved chemical processes in the body, and curbing over-eating among other things. Have a hard time getting your recommended dose? Find a water bottle that you enjoy drinking out of and add in some fruit, veggies or herbs. My favorite water bottle is the 40-ounce Hydroflask with a straw top. This bottle keeps my drink hot or cold for hours! To flavor it up, I add cucumber, mint and sometimes lemon.