How a Sedentary Lifestyle Affects Your Health
From an evolutionary (and survival) standpoint, the invention of technology took us very quickly from an active “moving” species to a population that sits an average of 13 hours per day. Add sleeping hours to that and it leaves very few hours, or even minutes, to be active. Inactivity is making us chronically sick and putting a huge burden on our health care system. It’s unfortunately a very sad reality of the world today.
Workplace Pollution and 4 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Employers must consider how to improve indoor air quality in office conditions because workplace pollution can be detrimental to employees' health. Pollutants can trigger asthma, headaches and other unpleasant symptoms for those who are susceptible.
By addressing some of the common components of workplace pollution, employers can help improve quality of life for their employees.
Workplace Pollution and Its Impacts on the Workforce
Employees are often concerned about workplace air quality. For example:
- Temperatures are too hot or too cold.
- Air ventilation is too drafty or too stale.
- Humidity is too high.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, explains that poor air quality can cause a variety of health issues if not properly addressed. For instance, warm and humid environments can create mold. As the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) explains, many studies show that poorly ventilated workspaces can increase cold and flu germs. The repercussions of these outcomes are obvious: Workers are more likely to be sick or be affected by the poor air quality inside the office environment.
Preventing Poor Air Quality Issues
OSHA requires employers to provide safe environments free of known hazards. Luckily, the AIHA, OSHA and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) all offer suggestions for how to improve indoor air quality in office conditions. The list below includes some of the common elements of a healthy work environment:
- Clean regularly. Vacuuming and cleaning work surfaces on a regular basis can keep mold spores and dust from building up over time. T
Workplace Ergonomics and ISO Certification
ISO 6385, ISO 10075 and ISO 27500 certifications allow organizations to take a methodical approach toward meeting approved ergonomic standards. Awareness of the importance of ergonomics in the workplace has grown in recent decades as one solution to problems associated with repetitive and stress-related disorders.
Dangerous or even merely unhealthy work environments feed longer term challenges that are harmful to employees and costly to employers. The American Institute of Stress cites multiple studies showing that 40 percent of employees find their job very stressful, and 25 percent view their jobs as the main source of stress in their lives. This stress leads to more health problems, higher levels of absenteeism and employee fatigue, and disengagement directly tied to productivity.
Workplace Ergonomics Are Important to the Solution
Against this backdrop the importance of ergonomics in the workplace cannot be overstated. ISO certifications give organizations a path toward standardized and professionally vetted ergonomic solutions. ISO certifications vary greatly in scope and scale, and the organization does not provide guidelines for the amount of time to receive certification. Prior participants suggest starting with the assumption that it will take roughly a year.
ISO 6385, Ergonomic principles in the design of work systems, is a good starting place by establishing ergonomic basics to enhance the work environment. It covers many job types from physical, blue collar workers in industrial settings to hospital workers to office workers who spend most of their working day at a desk.
Can Employee's Poor Use of Ergonomic Office Furniture Lead to Workers' Compensation Payout?
Ergonomic office furniture can introduce new risks even as it solves for old problems. These tips will help prevent new workers' compensation claims.
Change Management: How HR Professionals Can Effectively Disseminate Information
In the business world, nothing is older than the concept of change. Employers have long struggled with change management, but research shows a clear path.
Assisting Pregnant Women With Temporary Health Conditions Can Increase Productivity
Learn about the common health symptoms of those working while pregnant and make changes to increase productivity for women in the workplace.
Accommodating Disabilities Is the Law — and It's Good for Business
Providing employees with reasonable accommodations for their disabilities enables you to comply with ADA requirements for office space and improves morale.
How to Make Your Office Space ADA Compliant
In 2010, the Department of Justice published a new set of ADA standards that extended the ADA’s jurisdiction to the internet as a place of public accommodation. Not only is ADA compliance a matter of obeying the law, but it also indicates to your employees and your customers that you care about their wellbeing.
Save Money and Boost Loyalty With an Ergonomics Program
Workplace injuries cost companies billions of dollars every year and create tremendous stress and discomfort for sufferers. An ergonomics programs — a systematic process of fitting jobs and equipment to people — is a wise investment that can not only save money but also improve health, productivity and morale. But how do you create it?
Standing Desk Status Quo 2018
Welcome to FlexiSpot’s inaugural report on the “status quo” of standing desks in today’s workplace culture. This survey is a concise summary of the role standing desks play in pursuing a healthy lifestyle in and out of the office.
Flexible Workspace - Variety is the Spice of Life
There are a lot of ways we can improve the modern office. If we can all just roll our desks into an otherwise “empty” conference room, complete with our laptops, and all the tools we need to work, then meetings become simple and much more productive.
Fewer Hours = Higher Productivity
What is the most well-known economy in the EU that isn’t doing well? “Greece”, says the majority. It has the 4th highest average total working hours/person/year in the world, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Only Korea (#3), Costa Rica (#2), and Mexico (#1) are worse. Mexico at 2255 annual working hours has the poorest GDP return per person.
How Investing in Stationary Bikes for a Desk Can Benefit Your Company
When it comes to managing a healthy weight and staying fit, exercise plays a vital role in addition to a healthy diet. However, people today find it hard to make time to perform the fitness routines that can lead to their overall well-being. Especially, when they work at a job that requires them to sit behind a desk for eight or more hours a day. With such a sedentary job, it can increase a person’s chance of developing dangerous medical conditions that can affect their health. From heart disease to obesity, chronic diseases can affect how productive your employees are. As their employer, you should take an active role in promoting a healthy life to improve your employees’ quality of life. By investing in a stationary bike for a work desk, you can provide your workers with the opportunity to remain active while they are sitting at their desk.
Advantages of Encouraging Exercising While Working
- You provide your employees with a way to fit their exercise routine into their busy schedule to promote a healthier lifestyle.
- A stationary bike desk attachment can increase the blood flow through their body that can decrease from sitting for several hours a day.
- By improving their physical health, it decreases the risk of them missing work due to an illness that can make your employees fall behind in their work.
- Exercising while working can reduce stress and help improve their mood while working.
- Increases their energy level to help them remain focused that can lead your employees remaining more productive.
- By investing in stationary bike chair for your employees to utilize while working, it expresses to your workers that you care about their overall well-being.
Promote a Healthy Life and Save Money by Bulk Ordering
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Why You Should Build An Active Working Environment With Your Team
If we took a penny every time we’ve heard that inactivity is bad for us, we’d be millionaires. Sitting at the desk all day long is one of the most dangerous forms of inactivity, which the majority of office workers suffer from. World Trade Organization even listed inactivity as the fourth biggest risk factor of adult mortality. Sounds scary, doesn’t it?
What Are The Risks Of Sitting?
Let’s not go deep into the large variety of inactive lifestyle risks. Here are just a few of them:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Weakening of brain activity (memory loss)
- Depression and mood swings
- Cancer risk
- Blood sugar level increase
- Erectile dysfunction
- Sleep problems
- Back and neck aches
We can go on and on, but you get the picture, right?
What Can We Do?
The more we learn about the unpleasant risks of leading an inactive lifestyle, the more we want to avoid them. Let’s turn to the experts to find out how to prevent unfortunate consequences. Most of them recommend walking for at least 10,000 steps per day (about 4.7 miles or 7.6 km).
While going for a walk or a run when you spend 8 to 10 hours a day in the office is not always possible, you can take advantage of interesting ways to stay active in the workspace.
- Walk or ride a bike to work. If you live too far away, consider taking the train and then walking/cycling the rest of the way.
- Go out to get coffee. Don’t use the coffee machine to prep your coffee. Ge
How Do HR Help Employees Release Work-Related Stress?
Do you know that you spend about 35 percent of your life at work? Considering all the stress you are under during your time in the office, it seems as if a third of your life is wasted on worries and bad feelings. Our bodies are not designed to be under stress for such a long time. Eventually, we give up, and we face a variety of unpleasant effects.
Stressed-out employees suffer from chronic conditions and experience the decrease in brain activity. As a result, the productivity drops, and the company suffers from an unexpected profit loss. That’s why it’s vital for HR departments to come up with efficient methods to help employees release work-related stress.
5 Signs Your Employees Are Under Work-Related Stress
1. Loss of appetite – Stress-out people experience a loss of appetite, which leads to weight loss and lack of energy.
2. Irritation and aggression – When employees are under a lot of stress, they become irritated and aggressive. Their behavioral patterns change drastically without a visible reason.
3. Lack of socializing – Stressed-out people stop being social. They tend to avoid others during lunchtime and prefer working on their own.
4. Becoming difficult – When employees are under stress at work, they become difficult to cope with even when it comes to matters outside the workspace.
5. Feeling ill - stressed-out people are more prone to various diseases. If your employees start calling in sick often, it could be a sign of work-related stress.
Research has shown that about 80 percent of workers are under stress at their workplaces. Half of them admit they need help with stress management. More than 40 percent of workers believe their co-workers require stress management assistance.
An Unusual Way To Wake Up A Sleepy Meeting
Have you ever heard snoring at a brainstorm meeting? Isn’t it a sign of a total failure? Perhaps snoring is uncommon, but yawning, droopy eyes, heads propped up by the hands are all the ingredients of the same disaster.
A sleepy meeting needs a wake-up call. Otherwise, the brainstorming results can be flushed down the drain.
Why Are People Falling Asleep At The Meetings?
The best way to solve the problem is to eliminate the cause. Your co-workers are yawning because they think the brainstorming session is boring. They are rubbing their eyes due to a lack of energy. They may have woken up too early or haven’t had a wholesome breakfast. Or perhaps they’ve got a stuffy nose.
Another reason is hormones. We are under plenty of stress at work and our bodies constantly release cortisol, adrenaline, and other stress hormones. Eventually, we feel the drawbacks of such hormone rushes. We start falling asleep. In order to avoid this problem, we need to burn these hormones off.
Is Physical Activity The Answer?
Do you know that less than 5% of American adults exercise for 30 minutes every day? This is about how much exercising we need to feel healthy and energetic all day long. Besides improving our daily lives, physical exercise can help us deal with stress. A healthy and energetic body can recover from stress faster and create a better threshold before the drawback occurs.
Is it possible to make your employees or co-workers exercise on their own free time? Not really. However, you can turn the meetings from dull, dreaded, and sleepy into an energetic and resultative endeavor. How? By adding regular cardio exercise to the process. While your team may say “no” to exercising after work, combining brainstorming and workout can look very appealing.
5 Ways Investing in Employee Wellness Saves Money
When companies think about investing in their employees, they tend to focus on areas directly related to their work or industry, such as sending employees to conferences or sponsoring extra training. Professional development is seen as having the most clear-cut return on investment – you pay for an employee to receive more training or be exposed to industry experts, and they will bring that new knowledge back to their work. True! But that mindset overlooks another important area of employee development: wellness.
On the surface, employee wellness may not appear to be related to ROI or the bottom line, but an employee’s well-being has a significant impact on the quality and quantity of work they’re able to do. That means investing in employee wellness (by sponsoring employee fitness programs, providing access to an onsite gym, catering healthy lunches once a week, or furnishing the office with ergonomic furniture like height-adjustable sit-stand desks) is just as effective as investing in professional development. When you invest in employee well-being, you benefit both your employees and your company.
Here are 5 reasons that employee wellness is a profitable investment:
Employees who participate in wellness programs are more productive than those who don’t. One study found that employees who participated in health and wellness programs gained an average of 10.3 hours in additional productivity annually, saving approximately $353 per person in lost productivity costs, compared to counterparts who
The Dangers of a Sedentary Meeting Culture
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving,” – Albert Einstein
A sedentary meeting culture has been around for years. Unfortunately, breaking the traditions is a hard task. Meanwhile, sitting around and yawing in uncomfortable chairs doesn’t produce any results.
Just the opposite, office workers feel sleepy while their brains become cloudy. Getting together to discuss important matters is impossible to avoid. However, you can consider changing the way the meetings are held.
An average person wakes up and goes to work to spend the majority of his or her life there. A substantial part of the workday is spent in meetings and conferences. Since all meetings have a sedentary culture, you end up sitting down for more than a quarter of your life.
The sedentary culture goes back to Roman forums. Isn’t it hard to break a tradition, which dates back thousands of years?
The Risks of Sedentary Meeting Culture
The risks of such a culture are so numerous, it may be hard to list in one article. Let’s focus on the most unpleasant ones.
• High risk of heart disease. Spending just two hours a day sitting down at a meeting can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by 5 % to 17%.
• Cancer. People leading a sedentary way of life are at a higher risk of developing cancer due to being overweight.
• Type 2 Diabetes. People, who spend more than 2 hours a day sitting and watching TV or attending a meeting, increase their risk of getting type 2 diabetes by an unbelievable 20%. Interrupting sedentary lifestyle with exercise can decrease the risk dramatically.
• Obesity. Sitting down for many hours in a row can lead to weight gain. Obesity is a common cause of a variety of dis
The Employee Workspace is Often the Forgotten Child in Modern Office Design Trends
Modern office design trends have come a long way in the last 50 years. Now, businesses do more than house basic work functionalities. They now aim to create communities, facilitate collaboration and encourage an environment conducive to teamwork. Thus we have open floor plans, meeting rooms that double as training rooms, interesting social design integrations and more. But why has the employee’s workstation been left out of the modern design equation? It is the one area of office design that has not seen innovation in more than 50 years.
Yes, We Have Interesting Chairs, but It is Not Enough
The biggest modern design contribution to the standard workstation has been the incorporation of the ergonomic chair. This new design element certainly represented an important first step towards improving the posture and health of employees, but unfortunately, it has not been enough. Workers continue to have problems with poor circulation, back problems and other health conditions associated with prolonged sitting. No, ergonomic chairs have not completely solved the problems associated with working long hours at a desk.
The Workstation Problem
Most employees sit at their desk hunched over. They lean on the armrest or sit with their leg propped underneath the other. Sure! It may be comfortable, but the truth is, sitting in this way for hours on end can have negative long-term health implications. Not to mention this poor sitting posture can also cause back pain and energy slumps.
Recent findings from a Princeton University study, show that poor posture and poor workstation design significantly increases the risk of musculoskeletal problems. Prolonged sitting and static posture are also associated with cardiovascular and circulatory disorders, weight gain and lower back problems. Nerve and tendon rela
Why Ergonomic Office Furniture is a Profitable Investment
There are certain jobs that we associate with presenting a certain degree of danger to an employee’s well-being: manufacturing, construction, and firefighting, for example. You wouldn’t typically think of an office desk job as presenting a much physical danger to your body. And yet the rise in deskbound jobs and ensuing increase in sedentary lifestyles has dangerous consequences for the health and well-being of employees.
People who spend six or more hours at their desk are at increased risk for a wide variety of chronic and even life-threatening conditions, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, anxiety and depression, high blood pressure, and back problems.
Why is sitting at a desk so dangerous? Our bodies were designed to move, and the more sedentary we become, the more our bodies’ natural processes start to break down and backfire. Metabolism slows down, muscles burn less fat, blood flows more sluggishly through our veins, bones and joints weaken, posture deteriorates, and energy levels stagnate. As a result, we gain weight, become even less mobile, and develop increased risk for blood clots, heart attacks, chronic disease, and early mortality.
It’s called “sitting disease,” and hundreds of thousands of employees are affected.
If you’re concerned about your employees’ welfare, it’s time to start considering what changes you can make to their work environment in order to promote health and well-being.
You can’t change the nature of the work that needs to be done. But you can change the environment in which they complete it.
Sitting Too Much is Harmful to Workers' Mental Health
You may already know about the many harmful effects that sitting too much will have on your physical health, such as increased risk for cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer, along with chronic back pain and diabetes. However, research reveals that excessive sitting may also have significant consequences for your mental health.
A recent study conducted by the University of Tasmania discovered that employees who sat for more than six hours per day experienced increased rates of anxiety and depression compared to colleagues who did not spend as much time in their seat.
The study analyzed data collected from a sample of 3,367 state government employees as part of a larger health program. Participants completed a short psychological assessment to measure symptoms of anxiety and depression over the previous four weeks. They were also asked to report their levels of physical activity, leisure-time activity, and overall satisfaction in the workplace.
Analyzing the data, the research team found a significant correlation between mental health distress levels and daily time spent sitting. Participants who sat for over six hours a day reported higher rates of moderate anxiety and depression compared to those who spend less than three hours per day sitting. They also found differences in levels of psychological distress by gender, with women reporting more symptoms of anxiety and depression than men.
As in other studies of the effects of sitting for extended periods of time, the study found that going to the gym on a regular basis did not counteract the effects of sitting on the participants’ mental health. The employees who spent the majority of their day sitting reported higher rates of anxiety and depression than those who sat fo
4 Ways Standing Desks Improve Employee Productivity
If somebody told you that making one simple change to your work habits could increase your productivity by almost 50%, you’d probably be more than a little skeptical. But one study by the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health found that call center employees were 46% more productive when they used sit-stand desks.
Like ride-sharing apps, smartphones, and streaming services, standing desks are a trend that started in Silicon Valley and has spread throughout the country. Companies like Facebook and Google have provided standing desks for their employees for years now. Facebook employees were singing the praises of standing desks all the way back in 2011.
In recent years, more and more companies have started providing standing desks as a way to improve employee well-being, encourage collaboration, and increase productivity. The number of employers offering sit-stand desks and height-adjustable desks for employees has increased by over 30% in the last five years.
The numbers supporting the positive impact standing desks have on productivity are impressive. That’s because there are multiple different physical and psychological benefits of using a standing desk that each contribute to the overall increase in productivity.
Boosts Brain Power
Standing stimulates circulation, which sends more oxygen and nutrients t
5 Industries That Really Embrace the Standing Desk Revolution
It’s no secret that standing desks are a powerful incentive that employers are using to attract and retain millennial workers. In fact, according to a recent report published by the Society for Human Resource Management, 44 percent of companies surveyed now provide or subsidize standing desks for their employees. That’s a three-fold increase since 2013 when only 13 percent of employers offered the benefit.
In particular, there are 5 key industries that are not just embracing the standing desk revolution, they are thriving as a result of giving their employees this healthier alternative to sit-down desks.
In sales, productivity is the name of the game. And, for many sales teams, standing desks help keep sales executives more alert and energized to make calls to prospects, send follow-up emails to leads, and create better sales pitches. One of the numerous sales teams that have seen productivity increase as a result of switching to standing desks is Zenreach. The sales manager at this up-and-coming tech company says, “My staff is so happy being able to easily shift from seated to standing, and productivity on our sales floor has increased dramatically.”
Music is all about feeling the beat. According to music producers, there is a tremendous benefit in being able to get up and move around while working to perfect a song. But, long hours in the studio hovered over a traditional sit-down
Office Work: The Evolution of a Health Hazard and the Solution
The story of today’s office starts with the Industrial Revolution. There quickly grew a need to process ever-increasing amounts of information. Office technology then included quill pens, pen knives, inkwells, sand for blotting ink, and candles.
As the 1800s progressed, steel pens replaced quill pens, and steel pens were replaced by typewriters. Together typewriter ribbon and carbon paper created myriad documents that needed to be filed. The file folder dates back to the American Civil War, and the first file cabinet to 1898.
The core of today’s office was in place by 1900. The vast changes over the century since have made processing information faster and vastly more efficient. Despite the dynamic changes in information tools, the configuration of office workspaces scarcely changed.
Office Work Is a Health Hazard
Information technology has evolved spectacularly over the last several decades. What evolved far more slowly is the realization that office work imposes unnatural stresses on the human body. It took decades before the costs of poor posture and repetitive movement were finally understood.
The seriousness of prolonged sitting at a work station is seldom realized. An Australian study of 200,000 people aged 45 and over found that there were 5,000 deaths in three years, with 7% of the deaths related to prolonged sitting. Movement and standing during the work day reduced this risk.
Current research shows significant employee health problems from prolonged sitting in work situations. Standing helps, but prolonged standing also has some negative impacts on employee health. Standing does have some impact
Create an Employee Wellness Program for Enhanced Health and Savings
Wellness at work can save you $4 for every dollar spent. Have an employee wellness program that makes participation easy and focuses on behavior change.