Creating Wellness @ Work
How to clean your way to a healthier office
Today’s workplace feels primed for a wellness overhaul. Despite its celebrity trendiness, the wellness movement proves far more than super-fruit smoothies and 5-day cleansers. Instead, fostering wellness requires a closer examination of how our environment affects us. So for those living the 9-to-5 lifestyle, a healthy office becomes more important than ever. Fostering wellness at work need not become overwhelming with an effective green cleaning program. To boost your facility’s wellness, explore our tips below.
Go for Green
The wellness lifestyle has produced greater awareness about potentially harmful chemicals in everyday items. Perhaps there is no greater culprit than conventional cleaning products. Mainstream cleaners often include corrosive ingredients linked to asthma and other respiratory infections, hormonal disruption and even cancer. Instead, opt for green cleaning products certified by third-party regulators such as Green Seal, EcoLogo, Safer Choice (formerly known as DfE), and GREENGUARD. And be sure to avoid products guilty of “greenwashing” – which are marketed as “natural,” or “environmentally-friendly,” but lack any outside verification of their safety and effectiveness.
Did you know that using a cotton cloth removes only 40 to 60 percent of dirt, dust and bacteria? In comparison, microfiber cloths remove over 97 percent! This is important, as removing dirt, dust and allergens from surfaces contributes to a healthy environment.
Cleaning towards wellness means more than avoiding harsh chemicals. Specialized equipment proves just as crucial in maintaining a healthy environment, by removing allergens like dust and mold, and using fewer chemicals that may cause or worsen allergies or asthma. For equipment like vacuum cleaners and floor burnishers, look for models with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which remove allergens and extend the life of the floor. Also look for chemical-free cleaning equipment like steam cleaners, which only use tap water to remove mildew and kill germs.
Wellness at work may also require changing the office’s design with more health-conscious materials. Designing a healthier workplace, however, doesn’t necessarily call for the bulldozer. Small scale changes – from a fresh coat of paint to new carpets – can prove dramatically effective. Look for paints free of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which have been linked to respiratory issues. Also opt for carpets approved by third-party regulators to be free of asthma-inducing chemicals like styrene and polyurethane. Even something as simple as installing more entrance mats, which collects bacteria and dirt from shoes, can make a significant difference.
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