Over the last few years, the workplace environment has changed. There is no longer a normal image that comes to mind when someone says they are going to the ‘office’ because there are so many types of offices. There are small offices, and there are large offices, some have cubicles; while others have open concept workstations. Some have offices with walls with solid doors, and some have glass rooms. Some are designed to be fun and modern, and others are classically-designed with solid wood desks.
It doesn’t matter how your office was designed, or how your work area was configured (maybe it looks different every day), if we follow these basic habits we can create a healthy workplace.
If we follow these basic habits we can create a healthy workplace.
Keep your distance
Germs and viruses typically travel through droplets of saliva and mucus. Keeping your distance from employees that present cold or illness related symptoms will help prevent you from being exposed to an unexpected sneeze or cough. If you feel that you are fighting something, but not presenting any symptoms, do your colleagues a favour and keep your distance. Make sure to tell them why so they don’t think you are unfriendly. If you well enough to still be at work, keep some tissues near in case you need them, and dispose of used ones safely and immediately. If you aren’t well to the point you aren’t productive, make sure you put even more distance between you and your colleagues: take a sick day! Your body and your fellow employees will be grateful.
Wash your hands
Health Canada says to wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Sing Happy Birthday, and that should be about long enough. Make sure to dry your hands thoroughly since bacteria and viruses thrive in damp environments. If you have a staff washroom that still uses hand towels, you can use that to open and close doors (or turn off taps) throwing the towel in the garbage on the way out. Using alcohol-based hand sanitizers can help, but over time can dry out your skin.
Keep it Clean
If you work in a cubicle or private office, you can start by keeping it free from clutter. You can’t clean a surface unless you can see it! Wipe down your desk, shelves and other office furniture with an appropriate cleaning solution depending the type of surface (ask maintenance if you aren’t sure). Disinfect hard surfaces such as phones, door knobs, light switches, etc. Clean electronic surfaces such as mobile phones, keyboards, and computer mouse with proper electronic cleaning solutions.
Make sure to have a balanced, nutrient rich diet. It will not only help build your immune system so you can fight off infections and virus’, it will improve your energy and wellbeing throughout the day. Dr. Oz offers a list of 13 Natural Immunity Boosters. Bring your lunch, and snacks, to work! You will be able to control how it is prepared, have a snack available when you need it, as well as make sure you have a balanced meal for lunch. And of course, choose water to drink rather than sugary beverages.
Stay Physically Fit
Boost your immune system by improving your nervous system (posture), and your organ systems (get moving). When you have to sit, make sure you have an ergonomic chair to support a good posture.
“When you’re in an improper slouched or seated posture for extended periods of time, there is physiological change in the body,” he says. “In addition to the proven disease risks, things start to lock up. Tissues can weaken and the effects can be degenerative.” – Dr. Vladimir Friedman, DC, CCSP
Change positions as often as possible. Take frequent breaks from your desk and move around the office. Start some healthy habits! Walk to your co-workers desk to talk about a project, take the stairs, get outside for a walk at lunch. Envirotech is the leader to provide healthy workplace to the community.