20 Jun 4 Easy Employee Wellness Tips
Use the following 4 employee wellness tips to increase the health and vitality of your employees while they work at their desk.
- Get some green in your life.
Plants are amazingly adept at absorbing all kinds of gases from your office air. They have been proven to absorb a long list of volatile organic compounds and ozone. Plants absorb the environmental toxins in the air and increase the healthy oxygen levels within your office. And, don’t underestimate their ability to raise your mood too, plants have been shown to reduce stress levels, and relieve tension!
Besides obvious décor benefits, the main reason to have plants within your office is to help mitigate the pollutants in the air. The process of these plants taking harmful compounds out of the air will have you breathing better air while you work. While these are all easy employee wellness tips- this one makes a thoughtful gift for your employees.
All 5 of the following plants were researched by NASA as they studied how to keep the air clean within spaceships and on moon bases. There are other options for office plants, but these are a great start for your next natural air-purifier. The by-products that these plants clean out of the air have been shown to possibly cause cancer and other health issues.
Aloe Plant- This plant is an easy to grow succulent that loves sun and has great health benefits. Aloe plants help clear the air of formaldehyde and benzene which are by-products of chemical based cleaners and known carcinogens.
Dracaena Plant– This plant can remove known carcinogens benzene, formaldehyde and xylene. Dracaenas also do a great job of absorbing carbon dioxide, while emitting fresh oxygen. The more oxygen you can get the more you’ll be able to concentrate and be productive.
Snake Plant– These plants can thrive with low light in your office and are excellent at filtering formaldehyde and other air pollutants out of the air.
English Ivy Plant– This plant can reduce airborne fecal particles. (I know it’s gross, but there are fecal particles floating around in your office, which should make you throw up a little in your mouth.) It has been shown to reduce formaldehyde too.
Bamboo Palm– (PIC)This plant can thrive in shady indoor spaces making it ideal for offices. It is one of the best plants at filtering out the cancer causing by-products benzene and trichloroethylene.
- Set up an interval timer to move while at your desk.
If you are reading this blog on some level you understand you need to find a way to not sit for long at work. But, it can still be difficult to remember to actually get up and move around, especially when you are knee-deep in projects, deadlines and the all the tasks of a typical hectic workday.
As far as these employee wellness tips go, this one will increase your productivity. The best way to stay focused on work and remind yourself to get up and move is with an interval timer. Get one on your desktop, smart phone or just buy a physical clock to set on your desk. Set the intervals for 30 minutes, so you can be prompted to get up and move for 2-3 minutes at least twice every hour.
The greatest side effect of using an interval timer to get up and move is that you will find yourself becoming more productive with your work. The amount of work you get done and your ability to focus will increase when you break your day into 30 minute intervals- your boss will love you!
- Keep your desk free from germs and bacteria.
If we are talking employee wellness tips, we need to talk about germs. There have been plenty of studies done that have shown how dirty a work area can be, one study showed it is up to 400 times more dirty than the average toilet seat. That is even more disgusting when you realize that 2/3 of all desk workers eat at their desk! So, whether or not you eat at your desk, you need to keep it clean to stay healthy.
Wipe down your entire desk and chair once a day with disinfecting wipes to kill all bacteria on them.
The biggest culprit of bacteria on your desk is your keyboard. To clean it, use 70% isopropyl (not ethyl) alcohol and dab a cotton swab to get between the keys and on the top. Doing it this way will ensure you don’t drip any isopropyl alcohol into the keyboard. Repeat on your mouse also.
Like many people, you may keep the same water bottle on your desk every single day. And because you use it every single day you may have a tendency to go long periods of time without washing it. (I am guilty of doing this for longer periods than I care to admit.) So to keep your water bottle free from bacteria and germs, wash it out on a regular basis!
- Don’t eat at your desk.
I understand in the context of a typical workday there may be times when it is inevitable, but you must develop the habit of getting up and leaving your desk area to have a snack. It is a slippery slope of overeating throughout the workday if you are constantly reaching for snacks and eating them while focused on work projects. This habit is very similar to sitting on the couch and watching your favorite TV show- your focus is on your work or TV show and not on the amount of food you are eating. The last of these easy employee wellness tips is to create a place you can walk to and sit quietly for a few minutes and focus on your food, you’ll enjoy it more and eat less.
In fact, a study done in 2013 at George Washington University found that a 15-minute moderate intensity walk, 30 minutes after eating exerts significant control over the high blood sugar of older people. This is very important because blood sugar spikes after meals, and it may help you avoid the afternoon “food coma”. So make it a habit to walk around when you are snacking, and save time at the end of your lunch break to get a brisk 15-minute walk in before getting back to your desk. What are your favorite employee wellness tips?
Looking for some specific employee wellness tips for your company’s unique needs? We can help.