3 Health Reasons Why You Need A New Chair

The average office employee spends a large part of the day sitting at a desk, and while taking frequent breaks helps to minimize the impact of staying seated all day, it is equally important to have an ergonomic and correctly adjusted office chair for all the hours spent sitting down.

For those sitting in uncomfortable or ill-fitted office chairs, the short and long term effects of this can take a heavy toll and lead to Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). But there’s good news for businesses whose work environments lack sound ergonomic practices: improvements are often easy, relatively inexpensive, and will definitely pay off in the long run.

Three of the main benefits of having a properly fitted ergonomic chair:

  1. Increased health & comfort:
    Adjustable features on ergonomic chairs help to customize a chair to fit the user. Positioning the seat and arm rests at the right height and distance from the desk will greatly minimize the potential of developing MSDs.
  2. Increased productivity:
    An ergonomic chair enables the user to adjust their seating for activities at their desk, allowing for overall better accessibility around the workstation including better reach and less exertion. This will help improve overall satisfaction and minimize frustration and fatigue as a result of having improper tools to perform a job function.
  3. Reduced risk of injury:
    A properly fitted ergonomic chair can improve overall posture and lower the risks of MSDs. This can also help to minimize the costs to employers for lost employee time due to work related injuries.

Are you ready to shop for a new chair? Browse a huge selection of ergonomic chairs by Global on eway.ca.
Or enter the Global and Staples Advantage Chair Giveaway contest. Follow Staples Advantage on Facebook or Twitter and upload or tweet a photo of your old, broken or beat-up office chair to enter.

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Winter is coming. Are you prepared?

Preparing for winter starts early in most Canadian offices, and with winter right around the corner now is the time to make sure your workplace is ready for what Mother Nature has in store this year.

Between cold and flu season and unpredictable winter weather, there are a number of ways your office can be impacted during the winter months. Be prepared by creating a healthy workplace to minimize the impact of cold and flu season, and stock up on the right supplies to keep employees safe from the winter elements while at work.

From the parking lot to the sidewalk, front entrance to cubicle, it’s important to keep all areas of the office clean and clear of any slips, trips or fall hazards due to snow or ice.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Ensure timers for parking lot and exterior lighting are set to extended hours to provide extra light during the darker hours of the winter months
  • Provide additional personal protective equipment for warmth and higher visibility for anyone working outdoors
  • Keep front entrances clear of melted snow
  • Put dry floor mats down at all entrances and make sure floors throughout the building are kept clean of water or snow
  • Keep front sidewalks and pathways clear of snow and ice
  • Ensure parking lots are cleared of snow and ice in a timely manner
  • Keep salt bins or bags of salt at high traffic entrances so employees can keep an eye on any ice buildup throughout the day

Keep the right snow and ice removal tools handy to keep your employees and customers safe while at your place of business.

How can you be even better prepared for winter this year?
Staples Advantage has launched a Salt Guide tool to help companies make the most informed decisions on how much ice melt to purchase for the coming months. The interactive tool calculates the average snow days and snowfall for each region and makes a recommendation on the amount of salt needed.

Visit staplesadvantage.ca/salt to see the Salt Guide and use the interactive tool.

Ways to Create and Promote a Healthy Workplace

Companies today are making strides at prioritizing health in the workplace — everything from conquering sniffles and sneezes to reducing aches and pains. By emphasizing workplace wellness, companies can reduce absenteeism, boost productivity and increase employee retention.

Clean Up Your Act

  • Use floor mats: In addition to presenting an unkempt image, dirty and slippery floors can also pose a health and safety hazard to building occupants. Providing floor mats in entryways is an important first step in combating these problems.
  • Seek sustainable cleaning solutions. To better protect building assets and occupants, it’s important to select sustainable and safer cleaning solutions with low to zero VOCs, and low to no odor.
  • Stop mold before it starts. Routinely clean air vent covers, filters and floor drains, and avoid over-wetting surfaces to prevent mold and mildew growth. Remove any mildew deposits that do occur immediately and thoroughly.

An Apple A Day..
A healthy diet is an important first step toward a strong immune system and against dragging energy levels. Here’s some food for thought to add to your checklist:

  • Restock the break room: Help employees stay alert and healthy with smart snack options that curb the munchies. Offer options such as trail mix, granola bars and bottled water are popular — plus, they’re easy to stock.
  • Scrutinize the vending machines. If possible, help employees avoid temptation lurking in the vending machines by stocking the machines with healthy options – low in saturated fat and sodium

Fight the Flu
The flu and other colds, especially when working in close quarters, can have a domino effect in the workplace — taking down workers and seriously hindering productivity.
Put the following items on your checklist to inhibit germs and keep staff healthy:

  • Wipe-down common-touch surfaces: Think of how many people have touched those door handles, stair railings, elevator buttons, copiers, and conference room phones, water coolers, vending machines and ATMs. By providing sanitizing wipes and encouraging employees to wipe down their workstations, you can foster a cleaner, healthier office environment.
  • Provide employee education: Consider formal education campaigns, including newsletters and informative posters, that encourage employees to “cover your cough” and “sneeze in your sleeve” (not hands) when a tissue is unavailable. Again, highlight the importance of hand-washing.

Take Advantage of Technology
Sixty-five percent of employees say they go into the office when sick, preventing them from performing at full potential, exposing their colleagues to a host of germs and even threatening the office with a bout of infections.

  • Make it easy to work from home: Providing the proper technology tools and infrastructure will help maximize employee productivity and out-of-office success. Make sure employees are well-versed in security protocol as well, especially if they’re accessing sensitive data and transferring important files in and out of the office.

It’s a Team Effort
Taking action to provide and promote a healthy workplace can help organizations demonstrate their commitment to employee well-being, while decreasing absenteeism, increasing productivity, inspiring healthy living and defraying costs. Now that’s a healthy return

For more Health and Wellness tips for the cold & flu season visit staplesadvantage.ca/fluseason

Office Design for Employee Wellness

With cold and flu season on the way, companies are looking to stock up on the right supplies to keep on hand to help improve overall health and wellness at the office. But in addition to adding the right cleaning supplies, antibacterial soaps, Kleenex and wipes to ensure hands and surface areas are clean, offices can also look to workplace design to help improve employee wellness.

According to a study by the World Green Building Council, an office workplace that enhances productivity can leverage a huge return on the investment. The Wellness, Wellbeing and Productivity in the Office study goes on to say that “a building must not only avoid threats to wellness but also promote productive wellbeing. Healthy employees are more productive than unhealthy ones.”

Here are four top areas to keep in mind when you’re looking to make your office space work for your employee wellness.

Natural space – Utilize the natural light and green space you have, and create work areas that make the most out of your windows. Workers with access to natural light tend to get a better night’s sleep and a more productive day of work (source). In addition, natural touches like plants and even using furniture with more natural materials can improve indoor air quality.

Room to rest – A well designed breakroom not only allows you to reset your mind and return to your desk with a more productive mindset, the right breakroom layout can also encourage collaboration and give workers an alternative space to get work done..

Flexible furniture – With 84% of office workers sitting for four or more hours a day, office work can take a serious toll in the form of headaches, back problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, and more. Adaptive, multipurpose furniture is helping offices maximize space while also offering employees options. This can even extend to alternative desk setups like sit/stand workstations and treadmill desks.

Quiet time – While breaks and collaboration can encourage productivity and foster a feeling of community that is key to workplace wellness, quiet time is also important. As you seek to design your office with wellness in mind, provide quiet areas that allow workers to relax, concentrate and focus on their big ideas.

Want more great design and furniture ideas for your office? Check out Business Interiors by Staples to start building your dream office.