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RapidBlog: Staying well at work in 2015

Steelcase Walkstation

In the spirit of our series on smart, local ways to be well in 2015, Natalia Connelly, Custer brand specialist, shares some ways workers and workplaces can increase wellness on the job. From programs to postures to places, employers can take great strides to make the workplace healthier for employees.


For most in West Michigan, the New Year represents an opportunity to aim our attention again on health and wellness goals. Those interested in pursuing fitness goals may assess several areas of improvement: healthier meals, getting in exercise before work or after, heading to bed earlier, and so on. But that glaring gap between morning and evening—the workday—also holds a wealth of opportunity for improvement in health and wellness. From programs to postures to places, employers can take great strides to make the workplace healthier for employees.

Workplaces can aid in their employees’ health by fostering and participating in wellness programs that make activity easy to access and afford.  According to a 2013 report, making workplace wellness activities convenient and easily accessible raises the level of employee engagement; on the other hand, long wait times and rigid work schedules can significantly impede participation. Typically, employers use wellness programs to incentivize health objectives with financial benefits, but simpler solutions are also possible: workout classes at the end of the day, walks at lunch, participating in Stair Week, access to daylight, free fruit available in the cafeteria, and so on.

Steelcase Gesture ChairWorkplaces can also develop a culture of health by creating a more supportive environment. Steelcase research suggests that sitting smart—that is, sitting in chairs that support good posture—combined with standing and walking options, can have a significant impact on worker wellness and productivity. And such a range is crucial for both work and workers: some tasks can be completed more efficiently when sitting, so excellent chair options should be available; and to prevent all-day inactivity, standing and walking options that allow for movement are vital. When workplaces provide a palette of postures and places to work, employees can choose the best option—sitting, standing, or walking—at any given time.  

Local options for workplace furnishings provide a range of solutions, from standing height desks to walk stations, height-adjustable desks, and supportive seating. What’s more, the cost to make a workplace healthier need not be exorbitant, as many supportive options can be found up to 40% off of normal retail price.

Health and wellness need not be sought in spite of work; rather, employers and employees can work together to create a healthy 2015—in programs, posture, and place.

Natalia Connelly is a Brand Specialist for Custer, where she writes about the goings-on of the interiors industry. She also blogs at www.nataliaconnelly.com. 
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