Healthy Home Working Lifestyles
As homeworkers, we can be tempted to literally roll out of bed, fire up the laptop and start work in our home office right away. Then, as if by magic it’s already 10pm and we’ve barely moved from the same spot all day. Initially, this lifestyle might feel productive, like you’re the proverbial early bird catching all of the worms, but in reality, it can be detrimental to your physical and mental wellbeing.
If you think you may be guilty of fostering an unhealthy work-from-home lifestyle, Ryan Burch has some quick and simple tips to help you get back on track.
Make Time For Friends And Family
One of the most attractive reasons for working from home is the opportunity to escape the rat race, but leaving the office behind can leave homeworkers feeling isolated and lonely. A large network of friends and family is vital to ensuring good mental health and keeping you sane!
Ensure you meet up with other people regularly, visit your clients instead of speaking to them on the phone, attend industry events, speak at conferences and go to meet-ups regularly.
Sitting cooped up at a desk all day can lead to a host of health problems, from eye strain to thrombosis; from back ache to obesity. Exercise is key to relieving muscular tension, plus it gets the blood pumping around your body and helps you to clear your head.
You really have no excuse now either, working from home has enabled you to cut out the morning commute - use that time for a jog around the block instead!
Have a read of the iHubbub health and fitness pages for other ideas!
Now you’re out of the office, the temptation to eat terrible takeaways for lunch is no more. So now use your extra time at home to foster healthier eating habits.
For a healthy, quick, no-fuss lunch make soup in a slow cooker or crockpot. Quickly fry some onions and chop some veg and throw it all in. A couple of hours later you’ll have a delicious soup, which you can portion up for the rest of the week or freeze the excess. And the best bit? It’s good for you! If you’re stuck for inspiration, there are plenty of recipes here!
Having more time at home means you can prepare proper evening meals for you and your family. Ditch the high-fat and high-salt convenience meals and make batches of healthy food instead. Freeze the excess to consume the next week and then you’ll then have your own “microwave” meals.
Switch Off At Night
It’s important to detach from your work in order to recover from job-related stresses during non-work hours. A Kansas State University researcher has noted that staying connected to work through smartphones, tablets and laptops has become the norm, but when work spills over into the home domain it can disrupt recovery time from job-related stress.
The problem is intensified for those who literally work from within their home, as is it too tempting to log on and check emails in the evening, or complete a little extra work before bed.
So, literally unplug all electronic devises of an evening and don’t be tempted to check your emails until the morning – remember, it’s better for your long-term mental and physical health!
Avoid RSI And Other Problems By Getting A Proper Set Up
It’s so tempting to sit in bed all day working on a project, or spend the evening tapping out emails slouched on the sofa, but did you know that poor posture and slack habits might lead to a whole range of health problems down the line? You could damage your neck or back, or even get repetitive strain injury.
At home there is no boss to enforce proper working conditions, so it’s up to you to look after your health. Make sure you invest in the correct equipment and ensure your workspace is set up correctly. This handy guide contains plenty of advice to help you get started.
Pets Can Help
Now you’re at home all day, consider adopting a pet from a local shelter. Having a dogwill help you get sufficient daily exercise, but other kinds of home working furry friends provide plenty of additional benefits too.
- Stroking a dog is scientifically proven to reduce stress levels.
- A pet helps you get into a routine in a morning.
- A dog will encourage you to take a break every hour or two to play ball.
- Optional: you can consult with them on important decisions - just don’t expect a reply!
Take Up A New Hobby
Don’t get into the routine of spending your whole working week sat at a laptop and then spending your days off at a computer working on projects too. Try and find a new and enriching hobby away from the home. This will help you make new friends or you could learn something fun.
We recommend pursuing an activity that allows you to get crafty, messy or use your brain a little differently! Amazingly, Wikipedia has a list of hobby suggestions for you to peruse if you’re short on ideas.
Maintain Your Eye Health
There are many ways to keep your eyes healthy, including:
- Getting your eyes tested regularly – get an appointment made!
- Buying an anti glare screen cover for your laptop or computer.
- Taking regular breaks away from the computer.
- Remembering to blink. Seriously, it has been proven you blink less when stating at a computer all day, which can dry your eyes out and cause irritation. Solution: stick a post-it next to the screen reminding you to blink!
- Always make sure you’re working in a well-lit room. Invest in a desk lamp if needed.
Make Sure You Drink Enough Water
Sitting at a computer all day and concentrating on a project can make you go a little gaga at times, especially if you’re working to a deadline. I’ve personally found that I forget to get up and make a drink during the day, thinking “I’ll get a glass of water when I’ve finished this”, but never actually managing to make it to the kitchen.
Staying hydrated helps you to stay focused and you’re more likely to maintain a clear head, so try and fill a large bottle of water for your desk each morning and sip it throughout the day.
We hope these top tips help you to lead a healthier life if you work from home. Do you have any to add to help iHubbub members feel great? If so, please leave us a comment below!
Here are a few products that we think could come in useful to home workers looking to stay fit and healthy - check out more in the iHubbub shop!
About the Author
Ryan Burch is a team member at High Speed Training Ltd, a leading e-learning provider in Europe. They formed in 2007 specialising as a food hygience consultancy. They have now grown considerably and offer over 42 high quality online learning products. Every one has been created in partnership with a specialist company, relevant in each field. You can view the full range of career courses here.
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