The ever-increasing focus on wellness for the ideal workplace and environment is driven by the Millennial and rising Gen Z populations. Considering the fact that we spend an average of 90 percent of our time indoors, everything from poor air quality, lack of mobility, food choices, and daily workplace stress can affect the health and productivity of the workforce. As the lines between work and life continue to blur, we are witnessing how the building environments shape and influence these factors. The WELL Building Standard, launched in 2014, represents a new frontier for building and workplace design. Just as Fitspot focuses on improving the wellness of properties and their tenants, WELL is the first leading global building certification and rating system focused exclusively on how properties and their environments impact human health and wellness.
What Is The WELL Building Standard?
The WELL Building Standard explores ways to optimize modern office design, construction and operations with human health and behaviors in mind. It is the first flexible building standard to bring more awareness to human comfort, stress reduction and mental health. The WELL Building Standard, comprised of seven core concepts, proves to be a critical measurement of the human experience in the workplace.
How The Seven Core Concepts Impact Wellness
Clean air is a critical component of our health. In addition to outdoor pollution, indoor air quality is directly related to respiratory and cognitive processes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), air pollution indoors is often between two and five times greater than outdoors. The best way to combat this problem? Ensure your building has proper ventilation and air filtration systems. Encourage tenants to take breaks outdoors throughout the day as well, or schedule activities, such as Fitspot’s outdoor fitness classes, to encourage spending time in the open air.
Since more than two-thirds of the human body is comprised of water, it is a major component of cells. Not all water we drink is as safe as we think, as contaminants such as lead, chlorine, and arsenic can pose serious health threats. WELL promotes safe and clean water through the implementation of proper filtration techniques and regular testing in order for tenants to receive optimal water quality. Fitspot partners with FloWater, an advanced hydration refill station that uses Advanced Osmosis technology to remineralize, alkalize, and oxygenate water. Adding a FloWater station on-site can immediately impact the health of water intake, using seven filters to eliminate all contaminants, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals.
Busy lives and longer workdays encourage unhealthy nutrition choices such as eating meals on the go, in front of a computer or TV, and snacking between meals. How does the building environment come into play? WELL requires the availability of fresh, wholesome foods, limits unhealthy ingredients and encourages better eating habits and food culture. This includes the promotion and availability of various fruits and vegetables, limitations and bans on processed foods, food allergy labeling, creating mindful eating spaces, and more. Fitspot plays a role to encourage healthy eating by providing juice bars, kombucha, and nutritional workshops.
Appropriate lighting is paramount when it comes to workability, general happiness, and productivity. Insufficient lighting can cause eyestrain, headaches, and yields a loss in productivity, undoubtedly contributing to feelings of frustration on the job. Access to natural light ensures employee satisfaction, better performance, and productivity, thereby also promoting decreased absenteeism in the workplace. WELL seeks to address all of these areas by providing illumination guidelines and requirements based on different room types and activity tasks. This includes everything from visual lighting design to automated shading and dimming controls to window access, among other features.
Modern conveniences, transportation and sedentary jobs have lead to higher levels of physical inactivity than ever before, leading to the rise in chronic diseases. WELL promotes the integration of physical activity into the worksite by providing the opportunities and support for an active lifestyle and discouraging sedentary behaviors. This involves promoting and providing easy access to stairs, incorporating activity-based challenges, offering structured fitness opportunities (such as Fitspot’s fitness programs), implementing physical activity spaces, providing fitness equipment, and more. These strategies help to promote physical activity as well as social interaction in the workplace
Being comfortable was never a topic of discussion when it came to the interior workplace environment, until now. The current trend towards a more actively engaging social and physical environment at the office is being pushed to the forefront of today’s workforce agenda with changing employee attitudes. WELL seeks to establish requirements designed with human comfort in mind, reducing the most common sources of physiological disruption, including ergonomics, background noise and temperature. For ergonomic solutions specifically, including the implementation of flex-height and standing desks, facilitate comfort and well-being. Fitspot offers ergonomic assessments to help you find the right way to set up your desk. And in fact, the Fitspot team all utilizes standing desks in the office!
Stress management and mental health awareness is another priority in the workforce as it impacts all facets of human life including sleep, diet and exercise, relationships, and work output. According to Business Insider, a quarter of Americans say that work is their number one source of stress. So how can WELL manage this predicament? By providing employees with health and wellness awareness tools such as a library of educational and helpful resources (like this mental health survey), biophilia to stimulate the connection between nature and mental well-being, privacy spaces (for restoration of energy and focus), implementation of a healthy sleep policy (to avoid feelings of burnout), self monitoring systems such as wearables, and more.
Fitspot Fits The WELL Standard
Fitspot’s mission is one that aligns completely with that of the WELL Standard, showcased in our many partnerships with companies and properties to ensure a better work-life balance for all employees and/or tenants with busy lives and schedules. We provide a fully managed wellness solution with robust on-site wellness offerings that focus on Nutritional Wellness, Physical Wellness, Stress Management, Mental Wellness and Financial Wellness.
Every property has a unique space and workforce – that’s why we build custom wellness experiences for your property! Find out if Fitspot fits your workplace.
Danielle is a contributing content writer for Fitspot. She is a former journalist and professional opera singer. Danielle is passionate about whole body wellness and understands the critical role optimal health plays in having the immunity, energy and stamina to excel on stage and off! Running, hiking and yoga are her favorite activities. Danielle resides in New York City and is always on the hunt for the best new coffee spot.