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Designing Healthy Workplaces

The push to reverse obesity and promote physical activity in the United States has begun to target one of the nations most sedentary environments: the office.  

Although many employers have begun implementing employee health and wellness programs they often lack the support of environmental design factors. If companies want to have a lasting impact on employee health, integration of “active design” in company buildings and culture is necessary.   

“Active Design” is the architectural principle of creating spaces that encourage healthy lifestyles. By incorporating active design into the office it creates energy and vibrancy throughout the space. The design strategies also provide opportunities for personal interaction and blended ideas from various departments of the office.  

The goal behind active design strategies is to incorporate tiny health behavior changes in an effort to increase employee health and productivity. Introducing active design into an office can be as small as moving the printer to the opposite side of the room or as large as purchasing a treadmill desk. Some other features of active design in the office setting could include:

  • Posting visible signage encouraging employees to take the stairs
  • Incorporating stability balls in place of office chairs 
  • Placing high-top tables throughout the office 
  • Scheduling stand-up employee meetings 
  • Removing printers from individual desks 
  • Providing access to outdoor space
  • Encouraging walking meetings
  • Relocating coffee machines or water coolers to a centralized area

By creating interesting alternatives employees begin to change their daily habits, which can have a direct impact on their well-being as well as the way they work.

 If you are interested in making a change in the health of your employees you may want to learn more about what MBGH has to offer. We are now inviting Memphis area employers to create a culture of health with our CEO Culture of Health Initiative. If you are interested in learning more about the initiative or ways you can create a culture of health at your workplace please contact Tara Hill at thill@memphisbusinessgroup.org 

Article Reference: http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/news-wire/2013/11/04/creating-a-healthy-workplace.html?ana=e_du_pub&s=article_du&ed=2013-11-04

 

Posted by Tara Hill at 8:05 PM

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