If you are used to working outside of the home, either in an office or in another business environment, then starting to work from home can be a big adjustment.
Remote working might sound like every office worker’s dream come true. However, the reality is somewhat different.
You might find you miss the social aspect of work. Or perhaps, you long for your twice-daily walk to and from the subway. You may even feel nostalgic for the rigid office hours.
This is why it is so important that you take steps sooner rather than later to look after both your physical and mental health as you continue to work from home. From making sure you have a routine, to exercising regularly, to ensuring that your posture is adequately taken care of, keep reading to discover the top six ways to stay healthy whilst remote working.
1. Set a schedule
If you are thinking, “isn’t the beauty of remote working that you don’t have to adhere to a set schedule?”, then you are right to some extent. However, it is vital that you have some sort of routine, both in terms of staying motivated and so that you can create boundaries between your working day and your home life.
As you don’t need to factor in any commuting time, unless you count the walk down the stairs, you can take your time in the morning and enjoy a leisurely breakfast rather than a rushed one. This, in itself, is good for your health.
That being said, it can be a good idea to try and stick to your usual working hours, especially if you have virtual meetings in place. You also need to ensure that you do not fall into the trap of making yourself available for work 24/7. You need downtime, or you risk becoming stressed and burnt out.
2. Invest in the right furniture
Although you may think that you can simply sit at your dining room table and work, or worse, sit in bed hunched over your laptop, then, unfortunately, you are setting yourself up for a whole host of physical problems.
There is a reason why most offices invest in good quality, supportive chairs. This is because, without them, their employees run the risk of developing serious posture problems resulting in back, neck, and shoulder pain.
Of course, you don’t want to have to spend a fortune buying new furniture for your home office space. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t steps you can take to protect your posture. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to support your back is through the use of bean bags. Known for their ability to support the body, bean bag chairs and other bean bag furniture can help your spine naturally align itself as you work, helping to prevent any future problems or pain.
Plus, they are super comfy!
3. Take regular exercise
It can be tempting to simply sit at your desk all day in a bid to get your work completed quicker. However, for the benefit of your physical health, you need to be taking regular breaks from sitting and indulge in some form of physical activity.
This may involve taking a brisk walk around your local park after lunch or simply running up and down the stairs a few times once every hour. Whatever activity you decide to do, make sure that you are consistent in your efforts.
Aim for between 45-60 minutes of moderate exercise at least three times a week, more if possible. Remember, getting outside in the fresh air is also great for boosting your mental health.
4. Focus on healthy eating
Working from home can be a blessing in disguise when it comes to healthy eating, as you have the means and opportunity to cook healthy meals and snacks from the comfort of your own kitchen — no more shop-bought, overpriced sandwiches or processed, fat-laden fast food. You can cook yourself nutritious and mood-boosting breakfasts and lunches every day.
Opt for a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and protein. Try and avoid having too much caffeine, and instead, keep yourself hydrated and performing at your best by drinking lots of water.
For those that are worried about your diet, you may want to speak to your doctor or a professional nutritionist who can help you plan healthy meals and snacks.
5. Use technology to your advantage
If you find that motivation is your problem when it comes to staying fit and healthy whilst working from home, then why not invest in some technology to help you?
From activity tracker apps and fitness watches to peloton bikes and nutritional audio books, there are so many new technologies that can help you to keep on track when it comes to your fitness and nutrition goals.
Plus, you don’t have to spend a fortune on gym equipment. There are loads of free fitness classes and tutorials to be found online, with everything from yoga to HIT training available at the touch of a button.
6. Don’t forget “me-time”
Not making time for yourself can lead to a whole host of health problems, both physical and mental. Everyone needs a break from time to time, whether this is work or family life or everything.
Therefore, just because you are home all the time and in theory could always be working or doing housework or looking after the kids, doesn’t mean you should be. You need to ensure that you carve out some alone time to recharge your batteries and keep yourself sane.
Think of an activity or two that you love doing. This could be reading a book, taking a long hot bath, or indulging in some gardening, anything that makes you happy.
It is worth noting that me-time doesn’t have to mean time spent alone. Doing something you enjoy with your partner, a friend, or your children can be equally, if not more, beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing. The only thing you want to avoid is just sitting around doing nothing. This will do you no favors and most likely result in you feeling unmotivated and even depressed.