Studies: office layout can affect your mental and physical healt - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Studies: office layout can affect your mental and physical health

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Leaving the office, most of us feel pretty exhausted. Studies now suggest that we can blame much of what ails us physically and mentally on the layout of our workspace.

Not all the 150 employees at Tough Mudder's international headquarters in Downtown Brooklyn sends e-mails from a treadmill desk. But any who want to may exercise that option.

"It's not like you're working at a call center where you have your booth and there's nowhere else for you to be besides your communal kitchen or something," says Tough Mudder brand VP Alex Patterson. He credits the company's in-house workouts with the health of his body and the layout of its office with the health of his mind.

"There are nooks and crannies where lots of people can brainstorm," he says.

American companies standardized the sprawling square room divided by cubicles or nothing to foster team atmosphere. But newer research suggests that the open-plan office actually raises stress while lowering motivation and focus and maybe even reducing life-expectancy.

"A lot of my patients tell me that sitting is the new smoking," says Dr. Len Horovitz of Lenox Hill Hospital. "If you don't move, you have more risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes."

He would likely excuse Tough Mudder sitters when he saw their mid- and end-of-day workout routines, standing desks, and -- yes -- the office treadmill.

But even an active open-plan office, with quieter work spaces where the distracted can focus, faces a greater risk of airborne germs than closed-off individual work spaces.

"It's absolutely true that a sneeze cloud, which is like a balloon, can travel a lot father in an open space and can affect a lot more people," Dr. Horovitz says.

The healthiest possible office likely varies depending on the worker and the individual needs of that person's body and mind.

But offering to employees a choice of where to sit, stand, or walk seems a fine place to start.

"We put the keg next to the door so you can't really leave without having a beer," Patterson says.

And that helps, too.

  • HealthMore>>

  • Doctor in grave condition after contracting the Ebola virus

    Doctor in grave condition after contracting the Ebola virus

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:05 AM EDT2014-07-29 12:05:03 GMT
    Kent Brantly always wanted to be a medical missionary, and he took the work seriously, spending months treating a steady stream of patients with Ebola in Liberia. Now Brantly is himself a patient, fighting for his own survival in an isolation unit on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, after contracting the deadly disease. The Texas-trained doctor says he is "terrified" of the disease progressing further, according to Dr. David Mcray.
    Kent Brantly always wanted to be a medical missionary, and he took the work seriously, spending months treating a steady stream of patients with Ebola in Liberia. Now Brantly is himself a patient, fighting for his own survival in an isolation unit on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, after contracting the deadly disease. The Texas-trained doctor says he is "terrified" of the disease progressing further, according to Dr. David Mcray.
  • Google study gathers data about human body

    Google study gathers data about human body

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:27 PM EDT2014-07-25 22:27:09 GMT
    When you think of Google, you think of search engine and information. But Google is moving into completely new territory: inside the human body. Google will monitor 175 anonymous participants. Their body fluids have already been collected. Throughout the study, the participants sport wea...
    When you think of Google, you think of search engine and information. But Google is moving into completely new territory: inside the human body. Google will monitor 175 anonymous participants. Their body fluids have already been collected. Throughout the study, the participants sport wea...
  • The 'Hobby Lobby ruling' and what it means for U.S. health care

    The 'Hobby Lobby ruling' and what it means for U.S. health care

    The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on contraception coverage -- as mandated under the Affordable Care Act -- could lead to a legal quagmire that might allow companies to deny insurance coverage for any medical practice that violates their religious principles.
    The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on contraception coverage -- as mandated under the Affordable Care Act -- could lead to a legal quagmire that might allow companies to deny insurance coverage for any medical practice that violates their religious principles.
Powered by WorldNow

KRIV FOX 26
4261 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

Phone: (713) 479-2801
Fax: (713) 479-2859

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices