How to Brighten Your Workplace During Winter


Fighting Winter Blues

Chances are, the sun sets before you leave work these days. No one likes feeling dark and closed in all day long. So, it’s time to get proactive and let the light in. After all, winter isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Get brighter. It’s important to get exposure to natural light during winter months. You could invest in a desk lamp that mimics daylight. Or you can even just upgrade your bulbs — look for standard bulbs listed as 4100 Kelvin colour temperature.

Add colour. A pop of colour — be it an area rug or throw blanket — can add major light to your grey workplace. Consider the mood your want to create in your environment. For example, purple will add a sense of calm to your space while orange will energize it.

Liven up. Plants are miracle workers indoors and out. They purify the air, lift the mood and can create a general sense of well-being in the workplace. Consider the air quality in your workplace. During the winter, it’s likely warm and dry. So look for hearty plants that will add moisture to the air without demanding much upkeep. We recommend spider plants and English ivy.

Tips for National Bike to Work Day


When’s the last time you dusted off that old bike in your garage? May 19 is National Bike to Work Day and to celebrate, we think you should give your two-wheeler a tune-up and take it on a field trip… to work. It might seem intimidating at first, but we’re here to boost your confidence and give you all the tools you need to get to and from work safely.

National Bike to Work Day

How to bike to work safely

No matter where you live, bike safety is a big issue. The idea of competing with hoards of rush hour traffic can be intimidating, even for seasoned cyclists.

To begin, visit Google Maps to find route recommendations, including designated bike paths that you can follow.

Next, brush up on the rules of the road. Just like motorists, cyclists must stop at red lights, yield to pedestrians and signal their turns. But unlike cars, bicycles are often excepted on one-way streets. Check your municipal bike code for local rules. For example, in Toronto, you must have a working bell and bike light. And though not mandatory, we can’t stress the importance of a helmet enough.

The benefits of biking to work

Decrease your travel time. Really. For those living in bumper-to-bumper driving areas, this is especially true.

Get fit. This part is a no-brainer. By cycling for just three hours a week — or less than 20-minutes each way to work — you can decrease your risk of heart disease by 50%.

Boost brain power. Not only has daily exercise been proven to prevent cognitive decline and memory loss, but in a study, two-thirds of employers said that the cyclists in their office were more productive than non-cyclists. Biking to work is just one of many ways we encourage our employees to work well.

Decrease your ecological footprint. Transportation — cars, trucks and buses — accounts for nearly 30% of North America’s greenhouse gas emissions. Taking two wheels to work instead of four is an easy way to do your part in slashing that statistic.

Workstation Ergonomics: How to Set Up a Healthy Desk


By now, you know that poor office posture can lead to repetitive stress injuries and overall health issues. But you might still be wondering how exactly to correct the problem. Here, you’ll find a handy guide to help you adjust your way to workplace health.

Bends

When adjusting your monitor, chair and desk, the right angle in your best friend. For example, your knees should be bent at ninety degrees, with your thighs resting comfortably and your feet planted on the floor.

The right angle is also what you’re aiming for with mouse and keyboard adjustment. Your upper arms should rest comfortably at your sides, with your elbows bending at ninety degrees. From there, your forearms rest on the desk, never over-reaching for the mouse or keyboard. If in order to reach your keyboard, you need to move your upper arm away from your side, it’s too far. Bring the keyboard and mouse closer.

hand-wrist-posture

The final right angle to look for is in your torso. When you sit, do your hips stack directly under your shoulders and neck? If you’re slouching or leaning forward, the chair could be to blame. Look for something that supports your low and upper back. That way, you can lean comfortably into your chair while maintaining an upright posture.

Heights

To get started, your chair height should be equal to the length of your calves, allowing your knees to bend at ninety degrees.

The height of your desk should allow your arms to access the mouse and keyboard at a ninety degree angle whether sitting or standing, so what does that look like?

For a sitting desk, look for something with a height around your pelvic region.

sitting-posture

For a standing desk, you’ll want something that tops out around your naval.

sit-stand-setup

Monitor height is a crucial part of our muscular well-being, but so many people get it wrong. The top of your screen should align with your mouth area, and angle upward at about 30 to 40 degrees. This will allow your neck to stay upright, with your chin slightly tucked.

A proper monitor can be especially tricky to visualize, since it’s such a far-cry from how most of us use our computers. For a great visual aid and measurements customized to your body type, check out Computing Comfort.