The WELL Building Standard is used globally as an instrument to guide the design and construction process of buildings to advance the health and well-being of its occupants. While the seven concepts that are addressed by The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) are intended to be used as tools when addressing the physical and psychological environment here are ways to keep these ideas in mind whilst catering for the individual.
IWBI promotes “Air… strategies to reduce or minimise sources of indoor air pollution”
Utilise your lunch break and get outside for a while. Take a walk around the block and get yourself out of the office for some fresh air. Let them sun hit your skin and take a few deep breathes before heading back to your desk and see how much of a difference that makes to the pace of your day.
IWBI states “Water… high quality water and improved accessibility”
Set goals for yourself to get through enough water each day. 500mL before 10am and another 500mL before lunch, keep that up and before you know it you’ve hit your water intake for the day. Keeping hydrated is vital to staying healthy and maintaining every system in your body.
IWBI says “Nourishment… limiting the presence of unhealthy foods and can encourage better food culture”
Think ahead and pack your own lunch for the day. Eating out every day means that you’re not always aware of what you are putting into your body. Making and packing your own lunch is the healthiest option as then you know exactly what it contains and how to balance it with your other meals for the day. Pack some food jammed with Vitamin C to snack on as it helps lower the production of stress hormones in the body, that way your keeping two things in check; your waistline and your mind.
IWBI articulates “Light… systems designed to increase alertness, enhance experience, and promote sleep”
Ease your straining eyes. Staring at a computer screen all day can create havoc for your eyes. To reduce stress on your eyes you can reduce the colour temperature on your screen so that it emits less blue light (this is a short wave-length associated with eye strain) and more orange or red light.
IWBI encourages “Fitness… integrating exercise and fitness into everyday life.”
Every step counts… Get your legs moving more throughout the day. Park your car a little further from work than usual and walk the extra block or get off the train a station early and make the rest of the journey to work on foot. The stairs are your best friend, ditch the elevator and take the stairs to increase your heartrate throughout the day.
IWBI promotes “Comfort… distraction-free, productive and comfortable indoor environments.”
Spending eight hours at your desk, sometimes more, means it is integral for that area to have a positive influence on your day. Not only should your work space be ergonomic but it should also be a comforting area to be in. Having a couple of photos of family and friends or a diffuser with an uplifting scent can ensure it is an inviting space to spend a third of your day.
IWBI suggests “Mind… optimising cognitive and emotional health through design, technology and treatment strategies.”
Take a break! Taking short breaks throughout your work day can help you put your workload in perspective and ensure that you stay focused on the tasks that require your attention. Having time to recollect your thoughts and taking a minute for yourself increases productivity. Studies have found that productivity and performance are at their peak during uninterrupted 90-minute intervals. Another thing to keep in mind is that multitasking decreases productivity by up to 40% so keep the switching between tasks to a minimum – just finish what’s in front of you and move on.