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Hacking Health at Work: 8 Tech-Based Steps for Success

The majority of people spend most of their day at work, usually sitting at a desk. This approach is perfect for productivity and getting stuff done, but it’s not so great for staying healthy.

Over time, office workers can develop high blood pressure, stiff backs, and even chronic disease, all from a lack of movement.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways workers can hack their health at work, and technology is riding to the rescue. More advanced and science-based approaches are giving workers the ability to remain productive and healthy at the same time.

Set Up Smart Lighting

Smart lighting is one of the trends sweeping through office buildings. Companies are starting to realize that controlling the light environment helps to improve worker activity rates, well-being, and motivation.

This technology is being made possible by color-shifting LEDs that can change hue throughout the day. In the morning, firms set these to be bright and slightly blue, encouraging employees to feel alert and ready to start their day.

Then, as the day winds up, LEDs begin to more accurately reflect the temperature of natural light, before becoming more ember-like in the evenings.

The effect of the light hitting the back of the retina is to modulate the circadian rhythm, prioritizing activity in the mornings, while fostering recovery and rest in the afternoons.

These solutions can reduce stress and anxiety significantly. Those using them report considerable improvements in mood and workplace well-being.

Install Air Purifiers

You can also install air purifiers, an active area of technological advancement and research. Scientists are developing materials that trap particles in the air in filters, preventing them from getting into workers’ respiratory systems.

Many offices struggle with air quality issues because of ducted air conditioning and ventilation systems. Viruses can build up inside vents and then travel between floors, infecting hundreds of people in a single day.

Air purifiers with a sufficiently fine grade can prevent this from happening. Systems collect small particles, reducing the risk of disease or respiratory irritation.

Add Ergonomic Features

Businesses can also take advantage of the growing ergonomic technology now available for offices to improve workers’ health. Manufacturers advance their designs every few years, based on the latest science.

Deskup, a company that sells furniture for offices, recently penned an article on the benefits of stand up desks. Despite having been around for years, these pieces of furniture are still not standard.

“When we were researching stand-up desks,” the company says, “we were astonished by the sheer number of health benefits they offer. Colleagues using them often report improved posture and a reduction in lower back pain.

“Productivity also rises and individuals can burn up to one thousand extra calories per day, simply by remaining upright while they work.”

Interestingly, standing up at work might also reduce the risk of heart disease. Those who stand up regularly are less than half as likely to experience a heart attack or stroke than those who don’t.

“Companies that implement standing desks and other ergonomic solutions for their offices can enhance employee well-being significantly,” Deskup says. “Therefore, the return on furniture purchases can go beyond the conventional output that it could facilitate and even reduce health insurance premiums.”

Use Time Management Apps

Businesses looking to hack health are also making use of time management apps. These help prevent employees from spending all night in the office trying to solve problems when they should be recovering at home.

Time management apps tell workers how long they should spend on a specific task. If it is taking longer, then they should have the option to outsource it or get help from someone else.

Workers who don’t risk spending more than 45 hours per week in the office, at which point they can start feeling stressed and burned out.

Create a Culture of Using Fitness Apps

Some companies are also trying to improve colleague health by creating a culture that reveres the use of fitness apps. Colleagues who monitor their activity levels and heart rate readings can find out if they are healthy or not and make adjustments to their routine.

Fitness apps show workers things like the number of steps taken and average resting heart rate overnight. Devices can also capture sleep duration, stress levels, and even blood sugar readings.

Employees who understand how these metrics relate to their health can leverage them to make profound lifestyle changes. Those who adhere are less likely to make group health insurance claims or be absent from work when brands need them.

Use Digital Mindfulness Courses

Getting colleagues to enroll in digital mindfulness courses is another way firms are hacking health at work. Companies are training their workers to avoid spending twelve hours a day on social media, stressing out about how great other people’s lives look.

Digital mindfulness courses aim to support workers’ well-being, particularly those who work remotely and depend on their internet connections. The goal is to help people achieve more of a balance and stop problematic behaviors, such as checking emails before bed or scrolling through TikTok feeds.

Add Workplace Wellness Programs

Finally, technology is having an impact on a firm’s ability to offer colleagues workplace wellness programs to improve health. These often include seminars from seasoned professionals who know how to coach people to manage their stress in the workplace.

More importantly, many workplace wellness programs focus on diet and nutrition, helping colleagues make better choices of what to eat. That’s because there is a growing understanding that the components of the daily diet have a high impact on disease outcomes.

Most wellness programs steer people toward a Mediterranean-style diet. This eating pattern emphasizes whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and some extra virgin olive oil while minimizing calories from red meat, refined grains, and processed foods.

Wrapping Up

So, there you have it: some of our basic steps for enhancing wellness in the workplace using technology or the latest scientific research. The state of the art is improving all the time, so it is well worth staying up to date with developments in the field.

Main image by Roman Bozhko on Unsplash

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