The impact of office work on people’s health
In this day and age, we’re lucky if we get to get away from the office and spend a good chunk of the day on our feet and in the great outdoors.
It’s unfortunate, but for many of us, it’s a reality we can’t avoid.
As a result, we’re seeing more office-related injuries and issues with the health of workers than ever before with a whole host of problems caused by living life at the desk.
The impact on physical health
The impact of office work on physical health is one of the most talked-about subjects in the corporate world today.
It’s pretty widely accepted that there’s a wide range of physical health cons surrounding office work and some of the more modern companies are taking the approach to try and minimize these in a work environment that helps. Workers in a typical office environment can expect to see the following:
- Increase in both upper and lower back pain
- Increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer
- Increased joint pain and soreness
The list goes on, but we’re seeing the majority of these issues coming from long periods of sitting leading to health concerns. As a result, it’s a good idea to focus on movement during the workday and take short breaks to walk around, maybe even stretching if possible.
There are some developments in standing desks, ergonomic chairs and active office spaces that are popping up - but for the majority, it’s important to remember to take regular standing breaks when possible to minimize health impacts.
The impact on mental health
It should go without saying that the impact of office work on our health stretches further than just the physical problems that we’re seeing in workers today - mental health is huge, too.
Wellbeing is huge in the workplace environment and trickles down to just about everything in the environment alongside the workload itself. Dark, dingy and cramped offices with high-pressure requirements are a recipe for poor mental health and it’s hardly a surprise either.
According to a report generated by CMI Workspace, strong office design can make employees up to 33 percent happier at work - not only good for the mental health of workers, but for the business too! The following factors are just some that can impact the office design and affect mental health:
- Lighting - Dark offices make workers feel cramped in and away from the outside world - the brighter the office, the happier the staff
- Sociable - A sociable office is a happy office - by permitting the movement and mixing of those inside the walls, workers are much happier in their roles
- Temperature - If an office is poorly ventilated, too hot or too cold, a huge impact can be seen on the mental health of the workers - an SHRM report has shown.
- Modernization - Workers that feel a part of the company in a cutting edge roll feel much better in an environment that suits them. If the space is dated, there’s less chance they’ll want to be present.
Everything matters in the workplace, from the ergonomics of the furniture to the lighting and temperature of the rooms - it all contributes to our health and wellness.