The office always seems to get a bad reputation - from impacting people's posture, to being the source of seemingly limitless chocolate biscuits and calories. However, your fit out can actually be one of the primary enablers in promoting a healthy lifestyle for your staff.
Take the stairs
Let’s face it - we all often say we should take the stairs, but chances are we usually opt for the lift! A lot of the time this can be due to the stairs being tucked away out of sight and out of mind. If your staircase was open and inviting, then you’d probably use it a lot more to hop (not literally) between floors. Staircases can also be a focal centrepiece of your fit out and help bring teams together. After all, wouldn’t you rather burn some calories than wait for a clogged up lift?
Having somewhere for your staff to store or prepare a proper meal can often make or break their mid-week diet. If your staff have a kitchen equipped to warm up their leftovers or toss together a fresh salad, it’ll stop them from automatically defaulting to the nearest takeaway at lunchtime. Kitchens are worth investing in as they double as a space for teams to come together in a casual breakout setting, while also ensuring staff get a break at lunch and eat away from their desk!
More and more people are ditching crowded tube carriages in favour of cycling into work. In fact, a 2017 study crowned cycling as the least-stressful commute! Incorporating bike storage and shower or changing facilities into your fit out is crucial to enable this change in your teams. Staff will be able to cycle into work, shower, change and then start their work day on the right foot.
Channel the outdoors
Research has shown that our reliance on technology is leading to problems with vision, posture, muscle strain and even our mental health. Conversely, exposure to natural elements like wood, stone, water and plants can help counteract a number of the negative effects of the modern workplace. This has given birth to the recent trend of incorporating biophilia into office design; whereby we seek to harmonise the indoors with the natural environment. In the workplace, using these natural elements within an office fit out can provide the perfect antidote to being ‘always on’, whilst also making us more productive and content with our workplace.
Standing desks are becoming increasingly popular, due to the dual health benefits of increased blood flow and heightened calorie burn. We spend an exceptional amount of time being sedentary - whether it’s at a chair at our desks, on the train (if you’re lucky!), or sitting in front of the television. Standing at work is one of the easiest ways to reduce your sedentary time. It’s been proven that standing can burn up to 50 calories more per hour than sitting. If you stand for three hours a day, five days a week - this equates to 750 calories a week, the same as a medium intensity 60 minute fitness class.