There may finally be a reason to look forward to Monday mornings at the office!
Based on recent trends and developments in building standards, workplaces may soon be becoming more conducive to supporting the health and wellness of employees. The WELL Building Standard is the first building standard that focuses on combining work with wellness in an effort to support the health of employees that spend their time in the building.
Happily, this building standard has started to attract the attention of even the most financially conservative of companies given that an increase in employee wellness has been shown to increase a company’s success through greater productivity and employee morale. In practice, a building with WELL Certification (in that it complies with the WELL Building Standard) would ensure natural light rather than electric lighting, higher internal air quality, excellent temperature control, and comfortable acoustics, including through the use of white noise machines to reduce background noise.
Studies have shown that employees in such an environment are more alert, enjoy better sleep, feel less stress and distraction, and are less likely to catch colds or suffer from other illnesses. Other features include ergonomic sit-stand desks and filtered water hydration stations interspersed throughout the workplace to encourage better hydration.
The universal goal is to create an environmental that supports healthier behavior in employees. When you consider that most employees spend more than half of their waking hours in an office, it’s odd that most office spaces haven’t been designed with the health and wellness of employees front of mind. It’s so refreshing to see modern workplaces evolving to better support health and wellness!
I recently read a scientific study with a fascinating conclusion: listening to certain sounds can relieve physical and emotional pain.
Researchers from the Human Pain Research Group at the U.K.’s University of Manchester ran studies which induced alpha waves in the human brain in order to combat pain. Alpha waves are one of the five different types of frequencies in the brain — the others include delta waves, theta waves, beta waves, and gamma waves. Alpha waves have been shown to be linked to calm and reduced anxiety.
In the study, participants were subjected to pulses of light or sound at certain frequencies which have been shown to generate alpha waves. Participants who had received alpha wave stimulation reported experiencing significantly less pain than those who had been exposed to a placebo non-alpha wave brain stimulation.
I recently bought my own singing bowl from a local company called Shanti Bowl, which has a great FAQ which explains how to use a singing bowl in meditation. Interestingly, singing bowls have been shown to create alpha waves in the human brain and have long been used to heal physical and emotional pain. This looks like another case of modern medicine finally catching up with ancient health practices!
I recently read an interesting article in Vogue about Michelle Obama and her emphasis on always putting health and wellness first. She shared some great thoughts!
As the First Lady says, women need to do a “better job of putting themselves higher on their own ‘to-do’ list.” In particular, women “need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health, because if we’re scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves”.
Michelle Obama also recognizes that exercise has benefits beyond keeping your body in shape – it keeps the mind healthy as well. As the First Lady says, “exercise is really important to me—it’s therapeutic.” “So if I’m ever feeling tense or stressed or like I’m about to have a meltdown, I’ll put on my iPod and head to the gym or out on a bike ride along Lake Michigan with the girls.”
The First Lady also views health as “multifaceted”. In her words, “it’s physical, it’s internal, it’s my diet and my emotional state—it’s all tied in together.” Put another way, good health depends on keeping both the mind and body and balance.
It’s great to see such excellent health and wellness philosophies coming from the First Lady! What an excellent role model for new generations of women and girls.
I’m Jenni, and this is an online magazine for people passionate about health and wellness. I believe that wellness is the greatest wealth of all. Join me to discover and share new ideas, experiences and tips for leading a happy and healthy life!