In 1948, the World Health Organization defined health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Since we spend as much as 50% of our total waking hours each day in the workplace, creating this “healthy” environment at work is just as important as creating a healthy environment in the home.
In CrossFit Silver Tiger’s health challenge this month, we focus on improving your physical health in the workplace. We are doing this challenge over the weekend (Friday-Saturday-Sunday) so you can return to work Monday morning armed and ready to implement all items of the challenge.
Each day of this 3 day challenge we’ll provide How-Tos, Tips and Tricks, and shortcuts for removing and reducing toxins you are exposed to, improving your workplace nutrition, and increasing your overall fitness.
Healthy Workplace Challenge: Day 1
Friday, January 26, 2018
We have 3 items to tackle on day one of the challenge:
#1 Air Out Your Dry Cleaning Before Wearing
According to the environmental working group, dry cleaning chemicals (even those used by “green” cleaners) dissipate into indoor air only to build up to be inhaled by you. If you have to have clothes or uniforms dry-cleaned for work, they suggest removing the plastic bags as soon as you get to home/work and hanging up the clothes to “air out” outside or in the garage before storing in a work locker or closet. They also recommend checking out what your dry cleaner uses. Liquid carbon dioxide or using the “wetcleaning” (biodegradeable detergents and water) method are preferred as those are considered less toxic alternatives to the traditional perchloroethylene (perc, PCE, tetrachloroethylene), siloxane, and hydrocarbon solvents. If you are doing the dry-cleaning run today, leave it outside or in the garage until you need to wear it on Monday.
#2 Bring a Plant to Work
Scientists have done studies that show that plants not only absorb carbon dioxide through pores on the surface of their leaves, but that they can also absorb VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and pollutants like benzene and formaldehyde. VOCs and indoor air pollutants have been linked to chronic diseases such as cancer and respiratory illnesses. Plants that are highly recommended for their indoor air cleaning quality are English Ivy and Chrysanthemum. For more details on which plants remove which air pollutants, check out this summary of the Nasa Clean Air Study and corresponding plant chart: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Clean_Air_Study If you don’t have one of the plants on this list, take a run by Home Depot or Lowe’s to pick one up this weekend. The NASA study recommended 1 6 inch diameter plant per 100 square feet which is the typical size of many cubicles and offices.
#3 Ditch the Toxic Hand Sanitizers and Opt for Hand Washing
With flu season well underway, hand sanitizer is everywhere. While it might be tempting to reach for the hand sanitizer instead of dashing to the bathroom, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it shouldn’t be used in place of soap and water. Hand sanitizers work by removing the outer layer of oil on your skin and whatever is in that oil. If your hands are visibly dirty (or grimy), they won’t work. In addition, hand sanitizers don’t “kill” all germs on contact, and are particularly ineffective in reducing E.Coli, Cryptosporidium, Clostridium difficile and norovirus. Hand washing with soap and water, especially before eating is always better. Alcohol based hand sanitizers used in a pinch are better than nothing at all, but over time alcohol based hand sanitizers dry out and weaken the natural barriers to germs your skin does have. Many of them also have questionable antibacterial additives like Triclosan (registered as a pesticide) which is a known endocrine disrupter. The FDA has started to look into the chemicals found in these types of hand sanitizers because the levels of the “antiseptics” in user’s urine when tested was higher than previously thought. Since the product is not washed off, it stays on your skin far longer than soap. A better option is frequent hand washing with soap and water and using a non-toxic hand sanitizer alternative that uses aloe vera (which has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties to repair the skin barrier) and a variety of essential oils that have anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties to target and break down various kinds of microbes. One example I particularly like is Hands On The Go from Pure Haven. I’ve also made this one myself with the recipe found here from Brown Thumb Mama: https://brownthumbmama.com/safe-natural-hand-sanitizer/
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the author nor web site publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.
Cori DiDonato, C.S.C.S., NSCA-CPT is the owner of CrossFit Silver Tiger and Silver Tiger Consulting as well as a Purehaven Essentials Independent Consultant. For more health and wellness articles by Cori DiDonato, please visit: http://www.corididonato.com/library.php
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