The Office

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Working in an office can damage your health - and that's official.

In The Office Environment Survey' funded by the Health Promotion Research Trust 80 per cent of the 400 workers questioned reported feeling unwell as a result of working in a particular office.

The most commonly reported symptoms are listed below, along with the essential oils I recommend that you use to dispel them in a room method:

Lethargy Grapefruit, Eucalyptus lemon
Stuffy Nose Tea Tree, Rosemary
Dry Throat Grapefruit, Lemon
Dry and itchy eyes Tea Tree (in humidifier)
Headaches Lavender
  • Other contributors to 'sick building syndrome' are dust extractors which give off a discharge, carpet cleaning fluids, the chemicals used in furniture and furniture veneers, and poorly maintained photocopies which emit ozone and nitrogen dioxide. Things get really out of hand when all these elements interact with each other and you end up with a building that causes all the  usual problems plus itchy skin, rashes, nose bleeds, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath. There are, however, things you can do to make your life safer.
  • If the sun is hitting the veneer on wooden furniture it might be causing a gas to be emitted and that might be the cause of your allergy or sore throat. Simply moving the furniture around might help. Keep an eye on the maintenance schedule for all the office equipment and if necessary have a word with your Union health and safety representative.  All the above are more likely to occur in air-conditioned offices, and, according to Dr Alan Hedge, lecturer in environmental psychology at Aston University, BIrmingham, people who work in offices with apparently sophisticated air-delivery systems have twice as many colds, coughs and sore throats as those who work in offices with natural ventilation.
  • Humidifiers that are faulty are breeding grounds for bacteria, and we have all heard about the buildings that spread Legionnaire's disease to their unsuspecting occupants. Use natural ventilation where ever possible and ionisers where not. Large-leaved  green plants improve the quality of the air , and provide a resting place for your eyes and mind when they are reeling from the buzzing electrics in the concrete jungle

  • The essential oils could have been made for allevisting many of the 'office induced' illnesses. They combact bacteria and viruses which is so vital in the winter months when whole offices can go down one after the other, like skittles with flu. Indeed, on this score alone, if bosses were to invest  in room diffusers and a few anti-viral oils they would get their investment back within a week. Essential oils cn help in other ways besides lessening absenteeism through viral and bacterial illnesses, in ways that make productivity and efficiency greater while making everyone fell a lot better. Use any of the oils listed at the beginning of this section. The permutations are almost endless, so experiment and create different formulas for different days. Monday morning might need a different combination to Friday afternoon, for example! Most of the room methods can be used in an office.
  • If you have air conditioning, a humidifier is vital- but as humidifiers can cause more problems than they solve, it is essential to use the oils with them. You can use essential oils in small humidifiers that hang on radiators or sit on the floor, in room diffusers, water-bowls, on cotton wool-balls on a radiator or other source of heat, or in the light bulb or plant-spray methods. Even in a large open-plan office your own little area can be catered for. If you do share space, the aroma sensitivity of your office-mates will have to be taken into consideration because aromas can conjure strong emotional reactions.

  • You might love the smell of cardamom, but it might remind them of an incident they would rather forget, so they will not like it. Do get feed bac k on the aroma effects of those around you, because with nature's essential oils there is so much choice that everyone can be happy. The citrus essential oils smell very pleasant and few people object to them. An excellent combination wold be equal parts of lavender and grapefruit - lavender is an antibiotic with slight anti-viral properties which also creates a calm and tranquil atmosphere, while grapefruit stops you falling asleep on your paperwork and clears up stale air. Together they smell great, please almost everyone, help concentration and allow inspiration to take place.
  • Reference:The Fragrant MInd : Valerie Ann Worwood




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