Is your workplace healthy? Tips to build and maintain a healthy working environment

    TORONTO, Oct. 22 /CNW/ - The health of your workplace is critical to your
overall health, so Shepell-fgi is reminding you to take a look at your "home
away from home" for Healthy Workplace Week.
    "Think of how much time you spend working in a week," says Shepell-fgi's
CEO Rod Phillips. "Most people pay far more attention to the health of their
home environment versus the place where they spend most of their days. If it's
not a healthy, comfortable environment with a positive culture, you're going
to start feeling the adverse effects."
    "A lot of this might seem to be common sense, but they are important
things we find people need to be reminded of," says Karen Seward, Senior Vice
President of Business Developing and Marketing. "As we move towards less
sunshine and more time indoors, it's important to remember to take care of

    Clean your space

    If you have an unclean workspace, it becomes less comfortable for you and
can invite unwanted guests such as disease carrying critters, like mice. Wash
your hands often with hot soapy water, especially after using the washroom and
before eating. This is also especially important as we approach cold and flu
season. If you feel a sneeze coming on, try to aim for the crook of your elbow
instead of your hands.

    Don't treat your equipment better than your colleagues

    You spend hours de-fragging your computer, ensuring all the office gizmos
are maintained - but how are your colleagues? Working in an emotionally
unhealthy environment is just as hazardous to your health as an unclean
environment. Develop and implement strategies to ensure your office is able to
practice work-life balance and that the environment is positive and healthy.

    Are you sitting comfortably?

    Is your chair the right height? Is your keyboard too low? If you spend a
lot of time doing desk work and your space is not ergonomically right for you,
it can cause joint and muscle pain and over time create a chronic condition,
like carpel tunnel syndrome.

    Let there be light

    Seasonal Affectation Disorder, or SAD, is a real physical symptom of
sunlight withdrawal that can make you feel horrible. Look for symptoms of
depression, of not being interested in regular activities or a very blue
state. There is treatment for SAD including small UV lights.

    "Keeping these simple things in mind can help you all year round," adds
Seward. "These tips can keep you and your team well and working through the

    Shepell-fgi is Canada's leading provider of workplace health services,
including prevention-focused Employee Assistance Programs. The company
services over six million employees and their families across Canada, the
United States and internationally. Shepell-fgi helps organizations maintain
healthy employees and healthy workplaces.

For further information:

For further information: Rosalind Robertson, Media Relations Manager,
Shepell-fgi,, (416) 355-5424

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