A healthy office design can save you from a lot of stressful experiences. You probably work at least eight hours a day, five days a week—and likely much more. Being stuck in your office for that length of time can be deleterious to your health. Moreover, it is not just your physical state that suffers; your mind receives punishment, too.

The Problems Associated with Sitting

Being glued to a chair for too long can cause a lot of problems. It can escalate the chance of getting cardiovascular diseases and cause persistent back pain. Some observers even suggest that sitting in an uncomfortable chair is worse for your health than smoking. Office workers risk herniated discs, joint pain, neck pain, spinal misalignment and even numbness. But a well-organized office and the right office furniture can help employees avoid those problems.

Separate studies conducted in 1990 and 2003 show that the productivity level of individuals who had adjustable seats increased by 17 percent. Furthermore, those who work on ergonomic seating have a lower chance of sustaining work-related injuries. A quality office chair can prevent you from getting spinal disc injury, carpal tunnel syndrome and other body aches.

Aside from chairs, standing desks can also help regulate sitting time. Studies have linked obesity, diabetes, cancer, and several cardiovascular diseases to the amount of time people sit. An Australian study published in 2010 showed that for every hour you allot to sitting, you increase your overall chances of dying by 11 percent within 7 years. Moreover, one 2012 study suggests that the life expectancy of Americans increases by 2 years when they reduce their sitting time by 3 hours per day.

The Importance of Proper Furniture

Standing desks and adjustable chairs are crucial if you want to improve your health at work. Since you probably spend long hours at your job, you should have an adequate source of comfort and support to lessen physical stress.

According to the US National Institutes of Health, the right office chairs should have necessary features to support proper sitting posture, including:

● Five-point base
● Casters
● Small-cell foam padding
● Coils
● Backrest (preferably small or curved)
● Comfortable armrests with adjustable width and height
● Hydraulic seat heat control
● Tilt adjustment to move the stress of the body to the backrest of the chair

Other Characteristics of a Healthy Office

An office that is conducive to healthy working usually has an ambiance that boosts productivity and health. A workplace should have a stylish look so that it won’t be boring to the eyes. It should also be spacious so that workers can move about freely. People won’t want to leave their chairs if the workplace is cluttered and messy, and they need to move around in order to avoid the health risks of sitting all day.

A clean office also helps improve workplace health. An organized office can induce optimism and enthusiasm. One stress factor that is obvious in many workplaces is physical disorganization. Nobody wants to work in a place where everything is out of place.

Of course, the workplace should have enough lighting. Studies show that individuals who have windows in their workplaces sleep better at night. On the other hand, those that have dim offices have lower physical vitality. They also have problems sleeping as well as daytime dysfunctions.

Having an organized, comfortable workplace is essential to improving health at work. A healthy workplace setup can even make employees more productive and enthusiastic.

Adam Robertson is a professional in the office furnishings industry. He works for Allard Office Furniture, an office furniture company that has 18 years of shared experience in office desks, chairs, supplies and accessories.