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How to Create a Healthy SMART Office Space

By David S. Chang

With so much of our business taking place digitally these days, it’s very easy to spend entire days in front of a computer screen. While we may be able to get more done than 100 hundred years ago, the increase in productivity has come at a cost.

Spending hours hunched over looking at our smartphones or our computer monitors pose a large health risk. The immediate risks are back and neck pain, headaches, and shoulder, arm, and wrist pain. These muscle and joint problems are caused by bad posture from sitting and staring at our screens for long periods of time.

Long-term effects from our lack of movement are increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Studies also show that spending too much time in front of screens can affect your mood and sleep patterns. 

While we can’t expect to stop using our computers or other technological devices, there are other ways to combat these negative health risks. Being mindful of the impacts that your digital workload can have on your health is crucial. Here are some tips to help you be productive and healthy!

Keeping Moving

Creating an alternative workspace might be an ideal solution when it comes to managing health problems surrounding computer use. Think about ways that you can work while standing up. There are many benefits of a standing desk.

By working standing up, you are more inclined to move around. This will keep your blood flowing and can help improve your posture as long as it is positioned properly. Standing up can also help you be more engaged with your work, which in turn will increase productivity and improve quality. 

Take Regular Breaks

Taking a break to stretch your legs is very beneficial to your health. Even a short walk around the office will help. Not only will it get your blood flowing, but it will also help your concentration. If you can get outside and take a walk during your lunch break, do so. Taking regular exercise breaks will help prevent obesity and heart conditions. 

According to the book The Power of Full Engagement, the authors write that our bodies work in cycles. We weren’t meant to be robots or computers and work non-stop. When it comes to work, we need to listen to our bodies and rest when needed. This helps you recuperate. You should mirror your work schedule to be several mini-sprints, not a marathon. Work for 60 minutes to 90 minutes, and then rest for about 15 to 20 minutes. During this time period don’t think about work, but do something that will help you recuperate.

Stress and Depression

Prolonged computer use can cause stress and depression. Not only can work become monotonous, but you may also feel as though you are not connecting with other people. To help prevent this, think about ways to mix your day up more. 

Ever wonder how people got work done without computers? People were much more social, working in groups and interacting with each other to accomplish their tasks. Computers force us to work in silos, which in turn have led to more stress, loneliness, and depression.

Interacting with people helps boost endorphins in our brain. Having a good social network at home and work can help reduce stress. In many companies, employees won’t even know who works in the next cubicle!

Interspersing your screen time with face-to-face meetings can break up the day, and help give you human interaction. Instead of asking a question over text or email, walk over to that person and ask in person. That will help you keep your blood flowing and recuperate as well.

If you are able to vary your workload so that you are not stuck on a repetitive task, do so. A shift in mental gears can sometimes be helpful, as it refocuses your attention.

Get Your Eyes Tested

Staring at a screen for long periods is tough on your eyes. Computer Vision Syndrome, also referred to as Digital Eye Strain, describes a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer and other mobile device use. Many individuals experience eye discomfort and vision problems when viewing digital screens for extended periods.

Getting your eyes tested regularly will highlight any changes in your vision. You may not notice small, gradual alteration; however, they can leave you straining to read off a screen and can cause headaches. Here some important factors in preventing or reducing the symptoms of CVS. This includes lighting conditions, chair comfort, location of reference materials, position of the monitor, and the use of rest breaks.

Computer vision syndrome

Layout of the Office

Having a well laid out and spacious office can greatly improve the productivity and wellness of your employees. Productive office spaces improve the moods of your employees, so it is important that your office is set up to be the best possible working environment for them.

An office’s layout can encourage your employees’ work ethic. You want the layout to maximize their productivity by making your employees feel more comfortable, relaxed, and creative. The layout should minimize noise pollution, which can be distracting for workers and can even cause ill-health.

Busy areas such as kitchens and staff rooms should be separate from the main area of the office to ensure that your employees maintain their productiveness throughout the day. Access to important documents, copy machines, and necessary office tools should be easy to access for your employees. 

Your office’s layout should also be spacious. Having more space will brighten your employees’ moods and decrease the chances of your office feeling cramped and unpleasant to work in. Allow for greater access to sunlight. It is a natural mood booster and can help your employees’ wellness. Increased levels of light also encourage the appearance of office plants, which have been proven to increase productivity and lower workplace stress levels.

David S. Chang

Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Wealth Manager and CEO | Chief Editor, Author, Keynote Speaker, Consultant ArtofThinkingSmart.com | Political Consultant | Army Officer National Guard | Living To Fulfill Needs, Solve Problems, and Live Passionately!

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