7 Ways to Create a Healthier Office Environment

We are a little obsessed at the moment with creating a healthier office environment.

7-ways-create-healthier-office-environmentYes, its true: We’re obsessed with offices. In fact, so excited we can barely stand it. Did you know health is no longer something you pursue before or after work? That’s right, health can be obtained while you work. Are we loving the relationship between building biology and workplaces? You bet we are. It’s like getting married, except the marriage is between work and health. And the great news is, more research is being done to show the relationship between buildings and health (check out McGraw Hill Construction’s Smart Market report on how buildings affect health). If you are interested in higher productivity and employee satisfaction while reducing sick days, keep reading.

Lets talk about all the ways to make an office or workplace healthy.

Air Quality

healthy-office-air-quality-fanWhether it’s new construction or renovation, you can ensure all the building materials and products used will not “toxify” the environment with a lot of off-gassing. In many situations an air flush (forcing air through a new construction building prior to occupancy) could be beneficial. And while we are on products, cleaning products will inhibit good air quality faster than most anything else. So once you make it healthy, don’t ruin it with unhealthy cleaning products. The healthy ones are everywhere, so that’s easy. Let’s also ensure there is not only a smoking ban inside, but one outside as well. Throw in some upgraded air filtration (or at least an individual unit in areas where there are machines like copiers which pollute the air), and your air will be much cleaner. A recent Harvard study showed that cognitive function and response rates are much increased with improved air quality.


Water

healthy-office-pure-waterThe stuff is necessary for life. Research shows we humans still aren’t drinking enough of it; and particularly enough clean and healthy water. Research also shows people will drink more water if its easily accessed. Solution: place healthy filtered water stations at regular intervals.

 

 


Lighting

healthy-office-lightingDid you know lighting is one of the biggest ways your circadian system is regulated? The circadian rhythm is the biological mechanism for regulating the cycle of sleep and activity. Proper lighting, glare control, and exposure to daylight can dramatically influence eyestrain and productivity. It will also decrease eye related health issues such as headaches.

 

 


Fitness

healthy-office-fitness-take-the-stairsExercise at work? Yep, you heard that right. We love incorporating walking and cycling desks. Why not burn more than three times the calories of sitting? Even a standing desk is better than sitting all day. Or, go ahead, ride your bike to work. Many offices are equipped with showers and bike racks. Maybe you are lucky and there is a gym in the office so you can grab a workout during lunch. Yoga classes onsite? Sure, healthy employees are more productive employees. If the above options are not present, at least take the stairs. Six flights a day is enough to offset the average annual weight gain.


Electromagnetic Radiation

healthy-office-hard-wired-networkAdmittedly, this is a little more difficult to control with the demand of WiFi and other technologies. However, you can ensure workers are as far away as possible from routers and offices are not located adjacent to mechanical rooms. And did you know, a hard-wired system is more reliable for that super jazzed up conference room you use to impress your clients?

 

 


Collaboration

healthy-office-collaboration-teamWork spaces are opened up. Gone are the days of the private office. Collaboration is key so work spaces are designed with more comfortable groupings to encourage teamwork. This is fantastic because we all know teamwork creates success and mental stimulation. Remember, the healthiest happiest societies are those where people are more (and more often) relational. You need a minute to revitalize? No problem, lets incorporate a meditation room. 15 minutes and you are nearly as good as new. Many offices also offer seminars about sleep support, stress management, or nutrition.

 


Food

healthy-office-food-strawberriesAre there onsite food options? Perfect! But lets be sure vending machines are free and clear of unhealthy items and plenty of fruits and veggies are accessible. Maybe there is a coffee bar. We suggest offering hot tea and healthy juices as a complement to the typical coffee with cream and sugar.

 

 


Ahhhhhhhh… so many fun ways to make an office healthier. Are you trying to recruit the best talent or the next generation of workers? A more collaborative, healthier office could be a key component. And why wait? In the future this will be the norm. Work, home, play, live — the lines are getting blurry. And that is music to our ears.

Is Mold Ruining the Air Quality in Your Home or Office?

Mold Affects Indoor Air Quality

As building biologists, we take mold very seriously. The air quality of a home or office cannot be ideal if there is mold present. Just the other day in an office with PTAC units (the type of AC unit you see in hotel rooms), we asked the maintenance person to remove the cover, and…YIKES! The units had not been cleaned in quite some time and there was quite a bit of mold. Of course no one would see the mold since it was covered, but it was most definitely affecting the office air quality.

No one should have to breathe that kind of mold accumulation. If you have allergies, sinus problems, respiratory illnesses, or headaches, exposure to the mold could make you miserable. Or worse, if you are sensitive to mold, it could be causing major illness.

Why Is It Harmful to Air Quality?

Mold is highly toxic to humans. It releases mycotoxins (chemicals the mold releases to defend its territory) and mold volatile organic compounds/MVOCs (gases released by actively growing mold) so it packs a double whammy. Mold looks awful. But it’s not just sitting there looking bad — it is a living organism that is actively spreading toxins. And you are breathing them.

Where Do We Find Mold Growing?

Mold grows anywhere there is moisture: showers, front-loading washing machines, inside walls, inside HVAC systems, closets, etc. And, as a side note, if you have a pet who has ever urinated on your carpet, there is a high possibility mold is growing underneath the spot where the accident occurred.

OK, I Have Mold. Now What?

Don’t worry — it’s pretty common, but you can (and should!) do a few things to minimize your exposure and your risk.

  • Be sure to keep the moisture low in your home or office. Fix a leak immediately (mold starts growing in 24–48 hours), and clean up excess water.
  • Monitor indoor humidity. It should be between 40% and 60%, anything higher is contributing to mold growth. A properly functioning air conditioning system should be removing humidity so these levels are attained.
  • Clean it up. Safely. As for cleaning up the mold, please do not use bleach. It is highly toxic and spreads mold spores. Use these natural cleaners:
    • Tea tree oil mixed with water in a spray bottle.
    • Food grade hydrogen peroxide mixed with water in a spray bottle (this is our preference but take note — if it gets on your hands it may cause white spots but its harmless and goes away quickly)
    • Borax and water paste. Spread it on and leave overnight; then rinse in the morning.

Vital Spaces wants you to have healthy air quality in both your home and office.


Join Us for a Shaklee Reset

shaklee1On a different note, want to do a little holiday prep to ensure the season is better enjoyed? Join us for a Shaklee Reset November 7–11. A reset will help you jump start weight loss, overcome cravings, and balance & regulate your hormones. It can also realign your true appetite, boost metabolism, enhance digestion, bring radiance to eyes and skin and increases focus, clarity, and energy. Need we say more?

A simple Reset can be done with only Shaklee’s Life Shake and a multi vitamin but if you want to make it a true cleanse, these products are recommended:

Click here to order products by October 30 at and email us at angela@vitalspacesnow.com for more information and recipes as well as to be included in the Facebook support group.

Have a Happy Fall!

Non-Toxic Skincare that Works Wonders…Are You Ready?!

non-toxic-skin-careNon-toxic skincare is something I’m passionate about. But it wasn’t always the case! I’d love to tell you more, but first, a confession:

I was addicted to products.

I’m talking about skin care products here. And anti-aging products. I was addicted to those kind of things — I admit it. That’s the first step right?

Angela Vital SpacesI used to be the person who felt I needed to add the newest best thing to my routine every time a “revolutionary” skin care product showed up on the market. And the products added up. I wasn’t worried about non-toxic skincare; I just wanted whatever promised results. My cabinet overflowed. That was bad enough…but the worst part? Trying to wash my face enough times each day to fit them all in or having the time to use them in one washing. Whew! Calgon® take me away! And on top of all that my increasing knowledge of toxins was causing stress. A building biologist + health fanatic knows just how dangerous toxins they can be when applied to our largest organ: the skin.

Calgon® didn’t take me away but Ever did.

Ahhhhhh. Not only does Ever offer a line of non-toxic skin care; it actually works. Unbelievably well. All the other chemical products did not fade my melasma. But Ever did … success! I just cannot quit being excited about this amazing new non-toxic skin care line.

So just how does this work? Let me tell you!

Cellular inflammation is one of the major causes of aging, and it comes from exposure to UVA/UVB rays, dehydration, diets filled with refined sugar and white flour, and lack of sleep. However, a solution was discovered in a potent botanical with immense health benefits dating back to 100 A.D. – Magnolia Officinalis. Using this key ingredient, the Ever science team developed a patent-pending, bioactive complex of three molecules scientifically formulated to reduce the top 10 visible signs of aging. It’s called LSR10™. And just what does this do? It reduces the top 10 visible signs of aging:

  • Lines and wrinkles
  • Loss of elasticity and firmness
  • Spots and pigmentation
  • Redness
  • Loss of radiance
  • Uneven texture and roughness
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Dull skin tone
  • Dehydration
  • Thin skin

Honestly, most of us would probably risk it with any number of toxic products if we knew they would combat those signs of aging. But I’m oh-so-grateful that we don’t have to, thanks to Ever!

How do you get this fabulous new non-toxic skin care?

If you already have a handle on your skincare routine and you want to swap out what you’re using for Ever, just visit our store and get what you need.


Not sure where to start? Call us at 864.980.3341 to get your questions answered. We recommend getting the regimen + eye cream. It’s easy, non toxic, and it really works. Worrying about skin care products is now over. This could be a love affair. <3

Spring Cleaning Health Tips

Spring is here, that time of year. That time of year … for what? You know cleaning out and clearing out. Spring cleaning! Detox! As a building biologist, I have spoken much about cleaning up your home environment. A good cleaning of your home in the spring is therapeutic. But in this post I want to discuss detoxing your body. Are you giving your body a cleaning out at regular intervals? Taking care of yourself benefits everyone around you. On the heels of National Nutrition Month we would like to offer this set of spring cleaning health tips you can follow to detox your body.

Kick Off Spring Right with these Spring Cleaning Health Tips

1. Start your mornings with lemon water.

Drinking lemon water early stimulates the liver so your body can flush out toxins.

2. Juicing.

Get a green juice each day. Just make sure to limit the sugar to little or none. You might even want to take the plunge and do a juice cleanse. It’s alkalizing and nutritious for your body!

3. Blender meals.

Do you know how much nutrition you can pack into a blender then drink or eat as soup? It would be impossible in most cases to eat this much. Try to do one blender meal a day. You might enjoy this recipe for a yummy and raw blender soup. (source: http://www.freshandnaturalfoods.com/recipe/creamy-kale-avocado-soup/)

4. Bone broth.

Bone broth is a great way to help heal and repair your digestive track.

5. Probiotics.

I can’t say enough about these powerful little guys! With so many toxins in the world to deal with everyday that are upsetting gut balance, probiotics will not only help repair the gut but also aids in eliminating toxins. From time to time try your hand at making your own probiotic beverages, kefir, or even cultured vegetables. Bodyecology.com is a good resource.

6. Alkalizing and detoxing supplements.

Supplements such as Amazing Grass Greens Powder and Daily Detox are both great, and I try to do one scoop of each per day on most days.

Clearlight Saunas - a superb spring cleaning health tip

Clearlight Saunas – the best of the best in high quality, low EMF saunas.

7. Sauna.

The power of heat is ancient. It’s not only stimulating to your metabolism, it also soothes the nervous system and detoxifies the body. With deep heating of the muscle and fat tissue, metabolic and stored toxins are released to be metabolized by the liver and ultimately excreted by way of sweat glands and urine, all while enjoying the relaxation of a sauna. Infrared sauna takes this further because the heat penetrates deeply. Infrared sauna users also enjoy benefits of reduced cellulite, reduction of muscular pain and arthritic inflammation, deeper sleep, and skin rejuvenation. Learn more about Clearlight Saunas, the best of the best in saunas which are also low in electromagnetic radiation.

You can also call (800.317.5070) or email (clearlightsaunas@gmail.com), but be sure to mention Vital Spaces for the best in pricing and customer service.

8. And finally, limit sugar, coffee, processed foods, unhealthy and white carbs, red meat, and alcohol.

This might be the least popular tip. I know, I love wine too! But we all need to put things into perspective and make good decisions for our health. Make sure you aren’t canceling out all the other benefits by binging on things that are unhealthy.


Results always vary, but I believe taking action on these tips will increase your health and wellness. Are you a fan of any of these tips? Maybe you own a ClearLight Sauna. Share your experience in the comments!