Setting Up Your Office For Health
Article brought to you by: Phillip Donaldson
If you are one of the many people who spend 1/3 of their day in an office setting, you can understand how your office can become like a second home. Because of this it is vital to set up your office with your health in mind so that you experience less stress and can perform better quality work. There is only so much that can be done to the actual building unless the owner remodels the entire setting. Although it is more difficult to remodel an entire building, you can change or enhance various aspects within your office to create a nurturing and more peaceful environment.
When purchasing an ergonomically correct chair, ensure that it has adjustable arms and height features as well as comfortable seating. When typing on the computer at your desk, your arms should be positioned in a 90-degree angle while you are sitting straight in the chair with your feet flat on the floor. When you stretch or strain to reach the computer, you are stressing the shoulder and back area. These types of chairs are more expensive than regular desk chairs, but it is more cost effective than visiting the doctor due to the problems you experience in your shoulders and back.
Artificial plants only add to the aesthetic beauty of an office while many real green plants add humidity and oxygen to the environment while cleaning some of the pollutants from the air. Recent studies suggest that they may also help fight against many sick building diseases. One study at the Stennis Space Centre showed that houseplants convert chemical pollutants found in the air into harmless substances. TCE and benzene are cleaned from the air by one of the smallest houseplants, Ivy. Other green plants that can be used include Chrysanthemum, Parlour Palms and Peace Lilies.
Stress and fatigue is reduced and productivity is increased by allowing natural light into your space. Your well-being and environment can be enhanced instantly when you remove artificial, fluorescent lighting and replace it with natural, full spectrum lighting. This type of lighting is the closest you can get in comparison to natural sunlight. In addition to reducing stress and fatigue, this type of lighting also improves mood, eases eye fatigue, reduces stress hormone levels (cortisol) and slows retina aging.
According to studies and reports from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 6 out of every 10 buildings are “sick” due to the quality of indoor air. This is an environmental health problem that tops the chart in the United States. Ionize the room to reduce dust and bacteria in the air. Studies have shown that negative ionization drastically reduced airborne salmonella particles. Incorporate a negative ion air purifier in your office.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils to increase physical and psychological well-being. Physically, the chemicals that naturally occur in essential oils are drawn into the lungs when you breathe and supply you with physical benefits. Psychologically, the aroma stimulates the brain to trigger a specific reaction. Lavender is an essential oil that relaxes the mind, reduces stress and has even been shown to reduce problems (as in errors) with the computer by 25 percent. Use an aromatherapy diffuser with a variety of mixtures for different reactions and reasons. Many recipes can be found online whether you are seeking a calm environment or as a buffer when the flu and cold season comes around.
Colors bring emotional reactions out of people and are used in therapy, this practice originating from Egypt. The specific types of reactions that people experience differ from one person to the next. Colors are used throughout the marketing industry such as in interior decorating, merchandising, workplace environments and nutrition. Helpful colors for an office environment are red, which energizes; orange, which stimulates creativity; blue, which is calming; yellow, which heightens motivation and intensifies the intellect; and green, which fights irritability.
Feng Shui is an ideal form of organization to have in the office setting. It is the practice of placing certain elements in specific positions to increase the quality of life. For instance, placing a water fountain in your office provides you with a sense of peacefulness and serenity. Clear clutter every day from your office as this reduces stress and leads to clear thinking.
EMF Protection (electromagnetic fields)
Energy that is emitted from a variety of electromagnetic fields has been found to be dangerous and can have a negative effect on physical and mental health. Some sources include computers, microwave beams, televisions, cell phones, industrial radar and other electrical appliances. Constant exposure to these elements, whether sleeping or awake, can lead to constant stress since this energy alters the polarity within the body. This further leads to illness, fatigue, tension and frustration. In order to protect yourself from these detrimental energies from your computer, purchase a device specifically designed to neutralize harmful EMF.