A Look at Creating a Healthy Work Environment

  in  Building and Construction
We spend so much time at work, and so the environment in which we work in can't help but have an affect on our well-being. "Sick building syndrome" is a well-established problem. Ergonomics, lighting, space and noise all play a part in creating the work environment. Let's look at those four elements that go to make up our workspace.

Ergonomics
Most office workers use a computer. It's important that the screen is at eye-level to avoid neck and back problems in the future. Ensure chairs are not of the wheeled variety - they move around too much and you need to place your chair in a fixed position that ensures your back is straight in the chair as you type. Take a break every hour for 5 minutes or so and stand-up for that time. Sitting down all day is very bad for your health unless you can break that time up with standing. Stand up for your entire lunch hour, go for a walk outside - you'll actually feel more energised after lunch.

Lighting
Let in as much natural light as possible to the office space. Soft spotlights can help create a less harsh environment (than striplighting, which is headache-inducing). There should be plenty of background light behind each screen. Ensure each screen's settings aren't set too brightly. Create a light-coloured, pastel colour palette for the office to help brighten it. The emphasis should always be on natural light, soft light, balanced light.

Space
First of all, you want to create as much space as is practically possible. Space adds to a sense of well-being, and is simply practical - people can move around a lot more easily. Conversely, a cramped office makes workers stressed. Now you need to consider how to divide up the office space. Open plan offices can help save a lot of space (therefore creating space). Bear in mind that it can mean there's more noise pollution.

Noise
Noise is an interesting one. Most would think that the less noise the better, but a very quiet office can end up being a soporific one for workers who need to feel like there's something going on - to be part of a hubbub of activity. Of course, if the noise pollution is too great, it can become a distraction. Even if your office is open plan, consider closing off a room for the jobs that require intsense concentration such as programming.

Article kindly provided by Grants Electrical