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Last week, at their headquarters in Holland, Michigan, Haworth hosted dealers from all over the country for a two day Wellness and Ergonomics Training. I was fortunate enough to attend and dive deeper into the meaning of both Wellness and Ergonomics, both of which are growing trends in the workplace.

This first post will focus on Wellness.

Wellness is a huge trend that is growing in the workplace and is becoming more and more prominent in everyday conversations about workplace design. For many people it’s all about balance; balance of career, financial, physical, community and social. When discussing wellness there are a few buzz words that come to mind: wellness, well-being, and WELL. Wellness is referring to the physical state of a worker, well-being refers to the physical and physiological state of a worker, and WELL is the standard itself.

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When thinking about improving wellness in the workplace there are two areas to look at: the people and the space. Many people question why wellness and well being matters in business; it’s common to think that it is a personal responsibility and not a company’s. It matters because majority of the time stress at work leads to lack of physical activity which eventually leads to obesity causing larger issues. By instilling wellness programs in businesses, there is a big return on investment opportunity for companies. According the Harvard Business Review, the more invested on wellness programs yields more savings in health care. This also produces happier, healthier employees.

Another aspect to wellness that can be evaluated, specifically in regards to the building and workspace, is the WELL Building Standard. This standard is very similar to LEED but is focused on people verse the environment. It specifically focuses on how people interact with the building and its features. There are 7 parts that are looked at when seeing if a building meets this standard:

  • Air: quality testing and monitoring, filtration, moisture, ventilation, cleaning protocol
  • Water: quality, drinking water access, filtration
  • Nourishment: access to healthy foods, appropriate portions, mindful eating, clean food prep and eating areas
  • Light: activity based levels, color quality, daylight, glare control
  • Fitness: awareness, habits, exterior and interior active design, activity based working, physical activity spaces
  • Comfort: thermal, acoustic, ergonomic, olfactory, accessibility, controls, protocols
  • Mind: connection to nature, beauty, feedback on design, adaptable spaces, social equity, altruism

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To read more about the WELL Building Standard, a few months ago our blog featured a post focused on this standard. It can be found here. Or you can visit their website at https://www.wellcertified.com/.

Check back soon to learn more about ergonomics and what it actually means!

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