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How to create a healthy workspace in London

Tom Watson, Co-founder and CTO
Tom Watson, Co-founder and CTO|Updated February 7th 2018

Let’s face it, spending time in a London workspace is not an activity that you normally associate with feeling invigorated, healthy and in your zen place. But there is a lot you can do to bring life back into your day to give you a more energetic, happier and, indeed, more productive life at work.

We look at five key areas where you can make improvements to your workspace environment, with easy to implement suggestions that we use at Hubble to stay healthy.

1. Fitness

Top tip: Take a break and go for a walk.

The ultimate option is to persuade your boss to give you a free gym membership to the nearest fitness centre. But even if you’re a small startup you can encourage fitness by having a culture of taking breaks during the day to go out for walks. Even in central London you can almost always find a spot near your office to go for a quick walk – just 10 minutes can make a real difference to your well being and capacity to concentrate.

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Other ideas: Skip the lift and take the stairs. Avoid extortionate London tube prices and cycle to work.

2. Ergonomics

Top tip: Use a standing desk

Standing desks are an all round win. There’s a reason they’ve been generating so much hype – at Hubble we’re excited enough by them to have them too. First up they’re good for your health. Standing lowers your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Second, they improve your posture – no more crouching over your laptop. Finally, standing improves your focus by keeping your energised.

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Other ideas: Ergonomic chair – for those who don’t want to stand. Ergonomic keyboard – think about your fingers too!

3. Sleep cycle

Top tip: Install f.lux

It’s normal to use your laptop at all times of the day, but it’s not great for your sleep to be staring at glaringly bright blue light at night. It’s hard to avoid screens at night, but installing fl.lux can help solve this problem. Once it’s downloaded it runs in the background of your computer to subtly change the colours of your screen to reflect the level of sunlight at that time of day. This removes blue light from your screen at night and allows you to have a better night sleep.

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Other ideas: Afternoon naps with travel pillows in the office – might not be appropriate in every office, but if your culture allows it can give you a real boost.

4. Wellbeing

Top tip: Create space and time for meditation.

If there is one activity alongside exercise which evidence shows improves productivity and wellbeing, it’s meditation. Now I realise it doesn’t feel immediately practical or zen to meditate at work – images of sitting cross legged on your office floor and attempting to avoid distraction come to mind. But it’s actually pretty easy to take a walk to a nearby quiet spot like a church and take 10 minutes out. Everyone has 10 minutes they can spare in a day and apps like Headspace have made this really easy to do.

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Other ideas: Add plants to your workspace. Use noise cancelling headphones to minimise distraction.

5. Diet

Top tip: Keep water and nuts close by.

Everyone should know by now that water is very good for us and most of us drink less than we should. We also know that healthy snacks like nuts are a better source of long lasting energy for us throughout the day than chocolate. The surprisingly simple solution to this is to do with proximity. Keep a carafe of water and a packet of nuts on your desk. The reason it works is that we are secretly naturally lazy. Even if we really want a chocolate bar, we’re much more likely to have some nuts if the chocolate bar is a couple of metres away and the nuts are on our desk.

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Other ideas: Make sure you have breakfast and use Huel. Replace your coffee with a herbal tea.

These are all ideas we put into practice in the Hubble office – let us know if you try them out and if you have tips of your own!

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