Six easy ways to make your work or study environment healthier
With the weather getting colder, and the people around you starting to get coughs and sniffles, you want to make sure you don’t get knocked off your feet by a winter cold, or something worse. One way to do that is to make sure the place you study in, or work at, is both free of germs and generally supports your health. There’s a career to be made out of this, too, in the form of Healthcare Environmental Services Management, means working to protect people in healthcare settings from hazards and illness, keeping them safe and healthy, so they can do the same for others. It’s a career you can get through Centennial College’s practical, skill-based program. But on a smaller level, any working or schooling environment needs to be healthy, so the people in it can do the best work.
Let’s get the obvious thing out of the way that you don’t need anyone to tell you: You want to wipe everything you use down with some sanitary wipes pretty often. Your keyboard, your mouse, and your desk especially. But you probably already know that. Here’s some less-obvious stuff, provided by Coveteur, Creative Boom and Health.com.
Light your life properly
If you can, you want to get as much natural lighting as possible during the day, so if it’s an option, you want to be sitting by a window. The benefits of sunlight will help you sleep later, give you more energy now, and generally let you feel better and less stressed, and less likely to get sick. But that isn’t always an option, so if not, another trick is to change the kind of lighting in your work or study space to something cooler and bluer. If you really want to invest some cash into it, you can get a light-therapy desktop lamp that imitates sunlight, to directly infuse that sweet, sweet vitamin D into your system.
Clear out the air
There’s a phenomenon in some workplaces called occupational allergies, where you’ll find yourself sensitive to chemicals in the carpet or walls, and it can leave you headachy and generally unwell. Once again, if you can sit by a window that you can open, the fresh air will help you remove these allergens. Also once again, if you want to put some money into it, getting an air purifier is a good way to compensate. There’s another possible way to help clear the air, too…
Get some plants
It turns out keeping some green, growing things around you can improve your health and productivity. Depending on the kind of plant you get, they can also work to clean out the air, since they’re natural purifiers. The best thing about this is, depending on the plant you get, it’s a cheap, easy enhancement. Research suggests that the Sansevieria plant is a good choice if you’re specifically looking for air-cleaning varieties.
You probably already know this, but taking regular breaks, even in the midst of an intense crunch, is important. But it’s not just because you need to relax. Just stretching your legs and walking around a bit is beneficial. In fact, if you can avoid sitting down as much as possible, it’s so much better for your body. And while no one’s expecting you to exercise at work, taking a minute to do some simple stretches when you get up will always help you out.
Watch your back
Specifically, how it rests when you sit because even in the most active work or study space, you’ll have to take a seat at some point. Posture is important, and sitting up straight won’t just save your back from pain later in life, it’ll also help you feel more engaged and confident. If you have a choice, as well, try to get an ergonomic chair, designed to help you sit better.
Get a water bottle
Most of us don’t drink enough of it and including a reusable water bottle in your work or study space, and filling it up at the start of the day is one way to make sure you get your daily fill. Aside from the health benefits, staying hydrated will give you energy, eliminate some headaches, and help you eat less when lunch comes around.
By Anthony Geremia