Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Department of Labor (DOL), specifically the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicates that a sedentary lifestyle3 and poor air quality, combined with poor ergonomics at your primary workstation, are a leading cause of disease, disability and absenteeism. Global estimates from 2016 suggest that nearly a quarter of the adult population are physically inactive4, with our homes, schools and workplaces physically designed to demand less movement and require more sedentary activity over time.
The ways in which your workplace is designed and interacts with your employees can offer a platform through which to deliver healthy intervention and improve employee work-life balance. By allowing an employee to exercise, work from a standing position and assure seated ergonomic comfort5, you are allowing the employee time to incorporate healthful activities into their daily schedule, reducing fatigue and promoting productivity.
Employers also are empowered to improve work-life balance, absenteeism, and employee overall health through reduction of indoor air contaminants, increased outdoor air distribution and source reduction of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). The evidence of impact on improving indoor air quality is substantial, with emerging evidence linking air pollution as a disruptor to human physical and cognitive development6.
With this in mind, you will find many resources on this page to help you build a strong pitch for adopting or strengthening policies regarding your physical work environment. Ideally, policies which improve your physical work environment should be extended to all staff, so you may consider including remote worker benefits, such as subsidies to purchase active furnishings or air pollution education, to your staff not present in the office.