10 wellness architecture principles to make your workspace healthier
It will come as no surprise that according to Headspace‘s latest State of British State of Mind report, 4 in 10 people in the UK report being stressed and 1 in 3 are more stressed than 5 years ago. With stress and anxiety on the rise then, it’s important that we consider how every little aspect of our lives plays into our mental wellbeing and the steps we can take to improve it by applying these wellness architecture principles to the environment around us.
MAKE A STAND
An hour of sitting decreases production of the enzymes that burn fat by up to 90%. Get a standing desk, or hold standing meetings. At least they’ll be over quicker.
START A MOVEMENT
If work requires you to sit, download apps like Moves for iOS, or Big Stretch Reminder for Windows. Even a quick office tour will make a dent in your 10,000 daily steps.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Natural light has a beneficial effect on sleep quality and general wellbeing, so try to grab a window seat, or at least make sure meetings are held in light, airy rooms.
MANY HOUNDS MAKE LIGHT WORK
Few things bring an office together better than one well-behaved dog. If your pooch can be trusted, they’ll do wonders for your health, and that of your co-workers.
Specifically, paint your office walls green to create an atmosphere that stimulates creativity and calm. If that’s not possible, bring some green items into your workspace, preferably a shade of sage. And avoid red, as that apparently kills analytical thinking.
Living biowalls are a big part of WELL-certified offices, helping improve air quality and promote calm. Try Mother-in-law’s tongue (or Sansevieria, to give it its more-PC, soothing name).
Emphasis is being put on offering healthy eating options, so invest in appliances like juicers, which will encourage your staff to eat good, nutritious food at home, too.
As early as 100BC, Roman architect Vitruvius wrote about the impact of air quality in buildings. Open windows, or invest in an air purifier for your desk.
Poor posture is a major cause of lower back pain, so ask for an ergonomic chair which maintains good posture, or try a gadget like the Lumo Lift which vibrates when you start to slump.
IF YOU DONT ASK…
If your building has a flat roof, turn it into a roof terrace to soak up the sun. If there’s running water, build a shower and changing room to encourage cycling. Convince your boss costs will be offset by fewer sick days and lower staff turnover.