Working from home allows millions around the world to save money on childcare and transportation costs, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t take the necessary precautions to stay healthy. Sadly, it’s too easy to slip into a sedentary lifestyle where your mental and physical health suffers.
Buy a Smartwatch
Why does this help? Because it allows you to track your steps, heart rate, and calories burned throughout the day. Furthermore, it will send reminders to move if you’ve been sitting for too long. After a long day, you can see how long you’ve been active; if this number is low, you’ll know to put in more effort tomorrow. Without something to track your movement, it’s too easy to become sedentary.
Set a Schedule
When you don’t have to commute or be in the office at a certain time, it’s easy to let your sleeping patterns slip. Suddenly, you’re working at all hours of the day and night. While you may be able to get away with this now and then, it’s not sustainable (or healthy) in the long term. It’s important to set a schedule for yourself and stick to it as best you can – this way, you’re also more likely to squeeze exercise and healthy lunches into your routine too.
Get Up and Move Every Hour
Even without a watch, there are plenty of apps and websites that will remind you to move every hour. Alternatively, you might rely on your willpower. At five minutes to the hour while you’re working, get up, stretch your legs, do some light exercises – anything to get your body moving. This will help to improve your circulation and energy levels and reduce the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). With these five minutes each hour, you can remain healthy even while working from home.
Try a Sit-Stand Desk
Our next suggestion is to join the sit-stand revolution with electric desks; a sit-stand desk is a desk that can be adjusted to both sitting and standing positions, giving you the option to switch between the two throughout the day. Studies have shown that sitting for long periods is detrimental to our health, and can lead to several problems. While you shouldn’t stand all day (this has its problems too!), switch between the two each hour and you’ll soon notice the difference.
Invest in a Good Chair and Accessories
If you’re going to be sitting down for long periods, it’s important to have a good chair that supports your back and provides proper ergonomics. In addition, there are a few accessories that can make your workstation even more comfortable and health-friendly. A footrest can reduce strain on your legs, while an adjustable keyboard can keep your wrists in a neutral position.
Drink Plenty of Water
This is crucial at the best of times, but when you’re working from home it’s even more important to stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water will keep your energy levels up and prevent headaches, especially when staring at a screen for most of the day.
Get Outside and Meet Up with Others
In this final section, we want to talk about mental health because this is just as important as physical health, if not more so. When you work from home it’s easy to become isolated and lonely, which can lead to depression and anxiety. To combat this, make sure you schedule a time to meet up with friends and family, even if it’s just for a quick coffee or a walk around the block. And if you don’t have anyone close by to meet up with, there are plenty of online communities you can use.