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Acoustic office booths can help keep headaches and back pain at bay

  • Posted on: 12 February 2024
  • By: Hushoffice Team

Did you know that headaches are becoming an increasingly common health issue year by year? So is low back pain. Both conditions are strongly connected to omnipresent office noise typical of present-day workspaces. If you want to address these problems, well-furnished, acoustic office pods and booths can come in handy.

Acoustic office booths can help keep headaches and back pain at bay

Keeping headaches and back pain at bay – tl;dr

Workspace noise. The (not so) invisible threat to employee health.

According to the World Health Organisation, noise pollution has become a modern epidemic. “There is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population,” explains their report. There is a number of far-reaching consequences, to name just a few:

  • Work-related exposure to noise is connected with an increased risk of developing chronic mental health problems, e.g. depression, anxiety or burnout.

  • Office noise considerably hinders the ability to perform daily tasks, such as remembering written texts or doing mental calculations.

  • Noise pollution negatively impacts our sleeping patterns, influences the completion of more challenging tasks, leads to annoyance, compromises reading comprehension, and is even associated with high blood pressure. 

Noise, stress, and a vicious circle of headaches and (even more) stress

Excessive workplace noise can trigger headaches that in turn impede employee performance. Worse performance means higher stress levels. And higher stress levels can further escalate the headache, causing even more stress. Or, maybe, the whole cycle begins with stress in the first place. Tension headaches are particularly often triggered by stress. However, regardless of what starts this vicious circle, the results are the same: diminished focus and severely compromised well-being. A relevant, spot-on solution is to stop workspace noise in its infancy and deal with other stress-related factors. Indeed, employees need a hand to help them get off the rollercoaster. Addressing the root causes is the only way to establish a new, healthy cycle and boost employee well-being

– says Mateusz Barczyk, Senior Brand Manager, Hushoffice.
HushMeet.L the large meeting pod for office is a perfect spot also for reinvigorating power naps at work.

Headache disorders belong to the most common and disabling conditions globally.

And obviously, work-related noise exposure is the primary cause, with its impact depending on employees’ individual sensitivity influenced by various factors ranging from genetics to hearing health to personality. 

The mother of all headaches, migraine, is a productivity killer triggered by workplace noise.

Migraines, specifically, lead to decreased work performance. Indeed, employees experiencing an attack claim that their effectiveness is reduced by more than 50%. In addition to pain, which is considered the worst migraine symptom, an immediate decline in cognitive skills can be observed, including impaired focus, executive functions, or worsened memory.

HushMeet.L. A private office pod to talk out anything confidential. Modular, accommodating between 4-8 people depending on its module count.
HushMeet.L is a modular conference pod for office

Our brains thrive in silence. There are numerous benefits of taking breaks in noise-free settings.

Silence comes with many concrete, scientifically sound benefits. A mind undisturbed by external stimuli can ultimately focus on its inner workings. It’s this “pause” that allows creativity and empathy to blossom. And truly, the most meaningful ideas and emotions are frequently preceded and accompanied by a moment of silence.

Office phone booth Hushoffice hushPhone
  • Silence has been shown to increase cell density in the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain responsible for functions such as working memory or attention control. Simultaneously, silence leads to a decrease in cell density in the amygdala, which is associated with the fight-or-flight stress response. And the reverse is also true: loud noises activate the amygdala, leading to an increase in stress levels.

  • According to research from Duke University, listening to silence triggers a positive stress response, also known as eustress or “good stress”, which is believed to activate new brain cell growth. Interestingly, their team found out that spending two hours a day in silent surroundings resulted in the development of new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is part of the brain connected with memory, learning processes, and neurogenesis (the development of new neurons important for cognition).

  • Attention Restoration Theory suggests that time spent in low-stimuli environments lets the brain regenerate and restore its cognitive resources, leading to enhanced attention and well-being. Peaceful, natural surroundings can foster powerful mental renewal by minimising mental fatigue from intense concentration. Thus, short virtual nature breaks in a self-contained pod, such as hushHybrid, are strongly recommended for employees in the office.

Hushoffice HushMeet 4-persons meeting pod for open plan office
Need a breather? Catch up with colleagues in hushMeet pod.

Silence alleviates stress, so calm and well-being become one.

Being constantly exposed to sensory input puts a strain on your attention centres. As a result of continuous demand exploiting your mental resources, distraction and mental fatigue are inevitable. However, in low-stimuli, perfectly quiet spaces, such as hushMeet, the brain can renew its cognitive reserves and regain balance naturally.

Acoustic office booths can be (re)arranged with ease to foster relaxation.

To be able to relax in a given environment, people need to be certain that their privacy will not be disrupted. When it comes to ensuring privacy, mobile spatial solutions, such as office pods, are spot on. They can be located in more secluded parts of the office with minimal foot traffic. What’s more, they can be placed in a position with their glass panels facing the space that provides a more desirable blend of visual connection and architectural separation. Also, due to their mobility, pods and booths can be easily relocated to other parts of the office whenever the layout needs to be altered. Regardless of the modifications, they can be effortlessly rolled or rotated to create an arrangement that helps maximise the feeling of seclusion

– says Mateusz Barczyk, Senior Brand Manager, Hushoffice.

Of course, not everyone needs to unplug to enjoy the benefits of quietude. Many employees will simply retreat to a pod and continue working on their task. They will also embrace the calm by working within it.

HushHybrid video call for open plan office
HushHybrid video call for open plan office

Silence plus excellent ergonomics. Hushoffice acoustic booths enhance office well-being.

One of the crucial things that people experiencing low back pain should do is to maintain a high level of physical activity. Sit-stand workstations are an ideal solution, incorporating movement into a sedentary desk workflow. And it really matters as employees typically spend almost 6 hours a day at their desk.

With adjustable lighting and ventilation, Hushoffice booths provide unparalleled comfort.

The possibility to fix ambient light levels helps minimise eye strain and headaches. And being able to set one’s ventilation levels in a Hushoffice booth improves thermal comfort – a crucial aspect of ergonomics. 

Gen Zers want independence, not isolation. A pod like hushwork.sit&stand fits the bill.

Activity-based working encourages movement. Movement requires good ergonomics.

In an activity-based office, employees intuitively navigate their workspace, performing each task respectively in the working environment that best meets their needs. If they want to deliver a virtual sales pitch, they choose hushHybrid located in the distant corner. To meet up with their colleagues, they gather at the central workbench. When they need to take a personal call, they use one of three hushPhone booths conveniently located in the long corridor. Every new task is an opportunity to move around and shift focus, starting again with fresh energy and attitude

– explains says Mateusz Barczyk, Senior Brand Manager, Hushoffice.

Instead of sitting at their desk all day long, employees in an activity-based office experience a healthy dose of movement throughout their working day. Thus, they receive a significant amount of the Non-Exercise Activity that experts find equally or even more important to our well-being than formal workout.

So, why are Hushoffice acoustic booths a game changer in improving workplace well-being?

Booths are a top-notch solution offering a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the office environment. They are comfortably quiet and architecturally private, and can be arranged to encourage movement within the workspace. Adjustable lighting and ventilation are a cherry on top when it comes to excellent ergonomics they offer throughout the day, every day.

Read more about the Hushoffice line of private pods and booths here.

Keeping headaches and back pain at bay – summary

Keeping headaches and back pain at bay – frequently asked questions

Why is it so important to stay active throughout your working day?

Static loading means staying in one position for an extended period of time. It leads to discomfort and a number of health-related issues. That’s why your workstation should be equipped with adjustable desks, stools and footrests encouraging you to regularly modify your work posture.

How can I make my office a migraine-friendly workspace?

Individuals prone to migraines are simultaneously very sensitive to environmental stimuli. With this in mind, you need to take a closer look at sights, sounds, and smells in your workspace. Firstly, provide your employees with freestanding space dividers and desktop privacy screens to ensure protection from omnipresent visual stimuli. Secondly, offer dedicated, soundproof spaces such as pods where workers can relieve the headache-causing tension of the office hubbub. Last, but not least, avoid using artificial scents in the office area.

How can office booths help reduce stress?

Office booths are quiet sanctuaries within a busy, dynamic office space. Conveniently furnished, upholstered with cosy fabric panels, and equipped with adjustable lighting and ventilation, they offer unparalleled comfort and ergonomics. And they are pleasantly quiet, too. To learn more, read about our Hushoffice collection of pods here

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