The average American spends 93% of his life indoors according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that full-time U.S. employees work an average of 8.9 hours per day, which is more time spent working than sleeping, eating, or participating in leisure activities. Because Americans spend so much time at the office, it’s important that the workplace is designed with employee well being in mind.
Thoughtful design that goes hand in hand with wellness programs can help attract and retain your employees. Office spaces that are void of toxic materials, ensure clean air and pure water, encourage exercise and good nutrition, and stimulate the brain, foster well being.
These are three of the latest design trends promoting a healthy workplace:
- Sit and Stand Workstations
Mounting evidence suggests that sitting all day is bad for your health. According to James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, a desk job might burn 300 calories during a workweek, while those in jobs that require physical effort can burn 2,000 calories more. Sitting also harms circulation, leads to aches and pains and also increases the risk of diabetes, heart troubles and premature death. Utilizing adjustable workstations at your office that accommodate sitting and standing helps promote a healthier work environment.
- Wellness Programs
Incorporating wellness programs into the workplace can have a big impact. The outcomes include weight loss and obesity prevention; diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol management; and personal health practices like stress management.
Comprehensive wellness initiatives offer a variety of scheduled programs. These might include fitness classes, recreational sports teams, stress management seminars, programs to help employees quit smoking, healthy cooking classes, and fitness challenges. In addition to promoting a healthier lifestyle these activities promote team building.
Extend these programs by incorporating wellness into the design of your office. For example, an in-house gym makes it convenient for your employees to get active before or after work. Also, healthy cafeteria offerings top the list of ways to incorporate wellness in your office’s design.
- Connection to Nature
Research has shown that nature is a soothing force for humans and that more exposure to green, living things can spell better health and greater happiness. Therefore, ensuring employees have access to natural views and bringing nature into the built environment help create a workplace centered on wellness. More and more, offices are embracing living walls, green roofs, and other creative natural structures to bring nature inside. According to Terrapin Bright Green, “integrating views to nature into an office space can save over $2,000 per employee per year in office costs, whereas over $93 million could be saved annually in healthcare costs as a result of providing patients with views to nature.”
The most effective corporate wellness programs bring physical workplace elements and company policies under a single mission of wellness.
Does your office design promote health and wellness in a unique way? Why not enter it into the Spaces Indiana contest for an opportunity to show off your workspace design and attract top talent. Spaces Indiana is a design showcase celebrating innovative workspaces in Indiana. It’s a hub of inspiration and a springboard for reimagining what the workplace can be.