There’s no doubt that working from home can bring a lot of benefits to your work life and your professional life. But while the advantages may come easy, keeping yourself healthy when you work from home sometimes isn’t. Whether you’re a seasoned remote worker or about to embark on a new remote career, check out these tips to stay healthy when you work from home.
Quite frankly, sitting is killing us. New findings reveal that a sedentary lifestyle is more damaging to your health than smoking, heart disease, and diabetes. Fortunately, stopping your work every hour to take even a 10-minute break can make all the difference. Apps such as Time Out can remind you to take regular breaks, or you can set up an alert on your phone.
Use a portion of your lunch break to take a 20-minute walk around your neighborhood—or make use of that gym membership you signed up for but haven’t used yet. As a remote worker, you have extra time in your day that you don’t have to waste commuting into an office. Use that time to exercise and move, or even consider using a standing desk to avoid sitting for long stretches of work.
A funny thing can happen when you start working from home. You might find that it’s easy to spend the entire day working away and never leave your home office. Make a point to leave the house, even if it’s only to grab a mid-morning cup of coffee.e
If you have any fellow remote working friends or coworkers nearby, meet up with them for lunch, walks, and coffee. Everyone needs socialization, and as a remote worker, you may find yourself needing it more than when you were in an office.
A full refrigerator and pantry can spell disaster when you’re working from home.
To avoid unhealthy eating habits, plan out your snacks and meals ahead of time. Purchase items with healthy nutrients in foods like fruits, nuts, granola bars, and hummus, and make them easily accessible so that you’re less tempted to mindlessly munch on sweets. You can also portion your healthy snacks out to make them easy to grab and eat.
Just like the rest of your body, you need to give your eyes a break when you work from home. So make sure to look away from your screen at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes or so, for at least 20 seconds or longer. That will give your eyes a chance to recuperate and avoid eye strain and potential headaches.
If you’re lucky enough to have a flexible schedule, it can be easy to hit the snooze button multiple times. But to be the most productive remote worker you can be, stick to a schedule. Choose your working hours and adhere to them as best you can. You’ll feel better emotionally and mentally with an organized and productive daily routine.
Staying healthy when you work from home extends to your work environment, too. Take a look at your office area—is the room dark or sunny? Is your desk cluttered or clear? Is the temperature comfortable? All of these things will surely affect your mental and physical health. Make sure you have a dedicated workspace, too, even if it’s unconventional.
Raise the blinds to get a boost of vitamin D, open the windows for some fresh air, and add some plants to your office for increased happiness and a host of other health benefits.
Sure, working from home means you can wear pretty much whatever you want. As enticing as it might be to toil away in PJs all day, though, it may not be the best choice for your mental health.
Getting dressed in the morning helps our brains shift into “work” mode. It signals that it’s time to get serious about work and helps create a boundary between work and home. When we’re dressed we know it’s time to work, and when we’re not dressed (or in our PJs) we’re off the clock.
You don’t have to wear a suit and tie (unless that’s your thing). Business casual is perfectly fine. Or, consider workout clothes, which can be an oh-so-subtle reminder for you to get some exercise in while you work from home.
It can be easy to neglect your health when you work from home. But, by taking a few simple steps to incorporate wellness and healthy choices into your workday, you’ll find you’re a happier, healthier, and more productive work-at-home employee.
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