Curating Your Healthiest Office Environment
While many people may have some apprehensions about returning to working at the office versus at home, it is important to remember that working in an office has benefits. Socialization, collaboration, and a sense of community are all important aspects for any job – and working together, in-person, can foster these benefits far better than yet another virtual meeting can.
In fact, returning to the office can give you a chance to reconsider your environment and make sure that it meets your needs so that you can stay in optimal health – mentally and physically. Here are some ways to make your workplace a happy (and productive) place.
Pretty up with plants
Plant-based is not just a health-food trend! One of the easiest ways to instantly make an indoor environment healthier is to add plants to the space. For example, researchers are the University of Exeter found offices with plants can make people happier and even up to 15% more productive.
Seek a “sun” lamp
Lighting in any indoor environment, including offices, can have an impact on mood and overall health, especially in the winter months. Many people assume they have a simple case of the “winter blahs” but they may actually have seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. A basic sunlamp can help, but innovative lighting solutions, such as “circadian lighting systems” by Energy Focus are even smarter by creating an artificial sunrise to sunset that travels through the color spectrum. Numerous studies have shown that integrating this type of lighting into indoor environments can help to improve sleep, mood and overall health. For me personally, when I installed light bulbs in my office that could mimic sunlight, it had a major impact on my life. Of course, I’m also sure to pair additional “sun” with Vitamin D and, in fact, I take 10,000 IU of D3 every day.
Destroy pathogens in the air with UV
Another way UV is being used in lighting is through smartly designed air disinfectors like nUVo™ Traveler. Designed by Energy Focus, nUVo™ Traveler is a portable air disinfector that fits in your car cupholder and your backpack and runs on 4-hour rechargeable batteries, so you can use it during your commute as well as in your office.
This technology is unique because, unlike typical air purifiers, nUVo is completely filter-less. So, it doesn’t just trap mold, bacteria and viruses, but is instead designed to destroy those pathogens. What I like about the technology is that UV has been used effectively to disinfect air, surfaces and water for many decades, according to the Global Lighting Association. nUVo also has a patent-pending design to safely enclose the powerful UVC lamps while maximizing airflow.
Accent with Art
We all have so many pictures on our phones and on the desktops of our computers, but if you haven’t thought about what’s on the walls of your office in a while it’s time to give it another look. Studies, like this one published by the Journal of Workplace Learning, have shown that art can promote social interactions, elicit emotional responses, facilitate personal connection-making, and foster learning.
These are just a few ways to ensure your indoor environment can set you up for success. For more about how to make sure you maintain optimal mental and physical health, follow me at drpescatore.com and on YouTube and Instagram.