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How to: Create a Healthier Work Environment

Bethany Kochan

Nope! You can’t get out of it – you have to go to work. It’s a necessity in most of our lives, but it doesn’t mean it’s unpleasant. I love my job and hopefully you do, too. But part of that job requires having a dedicated work space. It might be your own office, a desk or cubicle in a large common space, or maybe you work from home. No matter where you are, you can create a healthier work environment.

Now when I say healthy environment, it can mean a lot of different things, but I’m talking physical space – rather than team work or management, etc. But where do you begin??

Clean Your Slate

Literally. Clean your slate, your desk, your computer, dust and wipe down that place and finish it off with a vacuum or mop. Chances are, if your in an office, there might be people that do some of this for you. But they probably are not messing with your desk too much. So, it’s up to you!

Get Organized

This part may be a little more fun: purge time! Yes! Get rid of the non-essentials. Old papers, miscellaneous clips and pens, little bits of junk you have no idea where it came from – it all goes. This can also mean filing that has piled up on you, or completed projects you just haven’t put away.

Once that’s done, put things in their proper place. If something is in your workspace it has a purpose. Figure out what that is, and then put it where it’s convenient for you. This will reduce clutter and allow you easy access to those pens and pads for note taking in a pinch, or the file folders for a new proposal. If it floats your boat, you can get your Sheldon on and label it all!

Take a Seat

Many of us spend a lot of time at a desk or table on the computer, tablet, or laptop. That also means sitting on our bottoms. Ever get out of that chair after an hour or two and feel like everything is creaking and groaning? Well, it’s time to get a good chair. You don’t want to be in pain constantly doing your job, so invest a bit of money and get a chair that suits your body and your needs. Then, make sure it is adjusted properly. Your back will thank you!

Or Take a Stand

You may have heard that “sitting is the new smoking”. While more research needs to be done to make that statement conclusive – or not – we can agree that sitting is less active than standing, walking, or exercising. But we just talked about getting a great chair! Don’t we want to use it? Sure! But you don’t have to use it for 8 or more hours.

Standing desks, treadmill desks, bike desks, oh my! These different types of desks allow you to increase your activity, change your body position, and may improve your health. Even after being on your couch, you feel the need to move a bit. You can invest in a topper for your desk or table that adjusts easily up and down to get you out of your comfy chair. Spend a little more, and replace your desk with an electric one that can rise up and down with the push of a button. Or look into the treadmill or bike desk – might not be a great option if you dress up for work.

Create an Ambiance

Even if you are in a common workspace with no walls, you can create a little ambiance with your space. Add a small plant or even some personal mementos. If you have an office or work at home, add some color with new paint or some pictures on the walls. Create an environment that you enjoy since you spend so much time there. The space can be efficient, but still inviting.

Your space should reflect your personality, aid in your productivity, and also be a spot that you like spending time in. You’re going to be there a while!