How Can You Promote Health In The Office?

Promote health in the office

With a large portion of the UK workforce finding themselves sat in an office for long periods of time, it’s no surprise that health and fitness is increasingly becoming a worry. The rise of ergonomic products to reduce the risk of any back, neck or wrist related injuries also shows that health is starting to become a priority for many companies.

This is both good and important as the recent Health Profile For England released by Public Health England found that the biggest cause of illness in England is low back and neck pain.  So what can be done to encourage a healthier workforce?

Create A Wellbeing Day

Many office workers may be unaware of the small things that they can do in their work life to improve their health. For example, eating plenty of fruit and drinking lots of water can help to increase productivity while also leading to a healthier lifestyle.

Create a designated day that can be devoted towards promoting a healthier lifestyle. Provide articles that give great tips for office workers and encourage people to provide their own tips that they have discovered. For those who can afford it, consider providing fresh fruit for free to encourage workers to eat part of their five a day.

Cycling Instead Of Driving

Many people may choose to drive to work, for many it may be the only option as public transport is too expensive or they live too far away. But for those that find themselves within cycling distance should consider whether they should give up the car for a trusty bicycle.

A study by British Cycling in 2014 found that if the UK had Danish levels of cycling then it could save up to a third of road spaces when compared to traditional driving. This has the benefit of not only cutting congestion, but could also reduce the amount of air pollution due to less cars on the road. The study estimated that by moving just 10% of journeys to a bike could save 400 productive life years, making cycling incredibly beneficial for the environment.

As well as this, cycling obviously has great health benefits as it is a still a form of exercise. Recent research from the British Medical Journal saw 263,450 participants take part across the UK to evaluate the association between active commuting and the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Over a five year period, the study found that those who cycled to work had a lower risk of heart disease, cancer as well as other causes of mortality. Take advantage of this health news by encouraging employees to cycle by offering a cycling scheme or perhaps find out if your local council has a scheme that employees could use.

Sit Stand Desks

There’s not a lot that employees can really do in the workplace itself, unless you happen to work in a building that has a gym or yoga class on hand of course. As suggested earlier however, ergonomics is incredibly important and can be used to prevent any work related strains or injuries.

Consider investing in some sit stand workstations to allow employees to have the choice of whether to work standing or sitting. A workstation that is set up correctly can help to improve posture as well as reduce eye strain, making working for longer periods comfortable both in the short term and the long term.

It can also have some hidden benefits such as reduced cancer risk. An article on the Huffington Post found a study from 2011 that reported that a large number of cancer cases (43,000 colon and 49,000 breast cancer) were caused by prolonged sitting. It may be a small adjustment to someone’s work day, but the effects could be long lasting and positive. Take a look at the range of sit stand workstations that are available on OPInfo.

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Sarah Jubb
Sarah Jubb

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