How office design is able to improve on the health of your colaborators.

We spend at least eight hours a day at our workplace. Sitting, staring at a screen and sinking our fingers onto a keyboard without taking at least a break, putting a lot of stress our body, and as a concequence lowering our performance. The concequences to our health can be permanent if we repeat this five times a week. Relying on a flexible design that invites people to move around the workplace, connecting with their peers and performing their tasks in different spaces, and also counting on optimal environmental conditions, substantially helps to reduce stress levels among employees and increase productivity levels.

The sense of sight is one of the greatest concerns for occupational health experts. Some studies conclude that at least 50% of peole working in font of a computer will have vision problems. The main cause is the distance that lays between the monitor and our eyes. Not having the option of adjusting the screen will force people to work with a permanent eye discomfort or people would tend to accommodate their body to the distance, and this will create problems to the back and arms. And to this we can add the fact that certain activities will be done repeatedly such as typing, and just by being in the same position ( sitting ) for prolonged periods of time, can cause further problems in the limbs and trunk.

Many people naturally assume that this is a common consequence of working in an office enviroment. However, this can be solved with a design that not only meets the needs of the business, but also prevents health problems, decreases stress, increases comfort levels and maximizes productivity and the satisfactionof your colaborators. It is also essential to raise awareness among your colaborators about the effects of inactivity caused by just sitting in front of a computer screen and forcing the body to adopt an awkward posture while working.

An office that promotes health should be able to permit and promote the movement of employees about the office, have centralized copying and recycling points, where people have to go in order to collect their copies or throw away a piece of paper, and this is just a start. Likewise, the office may also offer different and more flexible workspaces. The desktop is not the only place where you can do the job. Informal meeting rooms, open discussion areas, individual work cabins and high tables are just a few examples of how to assimilate diversify into the office. It is important to note, however, that not all solutions can be adopted by every company. An organizational study of the culture, must be done first, to analyze whether these spaces are able to support not only the business strategy, but also have to support the way the work is done.

If in any case the desktop is still the most convenient element to work with, it should also be flexible. An adjustable chair must also be provided, not only to adjust the height, but also for the benefit of the backrest, armrests; it must have a footrest, and even including an adjustable working surface. Yes, it must be a desktop that allows the colaborator to choose the position that he or she wants to work in: sitting or standing. In this way, if a person has spent several hours in a sitting position and the person then chooses to rest from this position, he or she can adjust the height of the desk and work in a standing position for a few minutes if they choose. Like so, his or her blood will circulate better, the muscles would rest and the back will not suffer under the stress of having an improper posture.

Whatever the strategy you decide to design towards creating healthier offices, colaborators must in any case receive some training. it is not usefull to invest a significant value of resources in ergonomic furniture, if the benefits they provide are not taken advantage of. likewise, it is necesasry to remind ourselves of the importance that taking short breaks has, changing posture, walking, stretching the muscles and returning to work. This will not only benefit the the body, but it will also be good for the mind. To sum it up, a flexible office with high levels of comfort, will promote the health of its employees who will be more productive and be more satisfied. 

Who would’nt invest in a healthier office enviroment?