We’re almost at the end of the first week of the office wellbeing experiment that’s being conducted by Newcastle University, looking into how bringing the outside in has an effect on office workers.
All the companies in The Core were contacted last year to ask if they could offer up four participants to the study, we were of course interested - most of our work falls into the ‘wellbeing’ category, and the opportunity to have a look at some interesting data collected by fitbits proved tempting. Of course we should put our money where our mouth is.
Data would be collected by questionnaire and heart rate tracking devices, over four different treatments each lasting a week and then repeated four times - No change to the office environment, birdsong played, 25 plants placed in the office and birdsong with the plants.
We wondered how we could guaranteed to be chosen for the study, but it turned out that not a great deal of companies were interested in having their offices overrun with greenery and birdsong, so there was little competition!
Competition however, has been on everyone’s minds, with us all comparing stats everyday from the fitness tracking devices. This has been only disruption to the office (apart from the plants arriving) that we’ve noticed, and to be honest I think it’s a good thing to talk about what is motivating you to be more healthy; whether it’s for competitive reasons or something closer to home. (It's important for me to be able to keep up with my four year old!)
As I mentioned before, we’ve enjoyed looking at the data captured by the fitbits, but as ever, we’ve looked if we can take it even further, buying the body measurement scales that work in unison with the fitbits. We seem to be taking this “being healthy at work” to a new level.
As I sit at my desk for the last time this week with the office covered in plants, a couple of succulents on cheering back at me, I wonder if this small change can really make a difference. I think we’ll all miss the plants when they are gone.
Some of the wellbeing projects we helped build over the last year:
And coming soon... http://www.betterhumans.co.uk/