With more people working from home, they’ve discovered a slew of benefits from not going into the office. More time, for one thing. With no commute, they can spend that time with their families and enjoy a leisurely breakfast.
Employees are also loving the comfortable clothes and having lunch with the family at home.
But there are difficulties, too.
Some people have a hard time separating their work and home life, and they keep on with their projects through quitting time. Others have a hard time focusing on their tasks with family and housekeeping needs all around them.
One of the worst side effects from working at home, though, is increased health problems–particularly back issues.
Generally speaking, we don’t own ergonomic furniture. And instead of getting up to go to meetings, popping in and out of offices to chat with co-workers, and perhaps using a standing desk we sit through work, our online meetings–and we’re at our kitchen tables instead of a desk of appropriate height.
Here are some suggestions to improve your at-home work experience.
Take Breaks and Add Exercise
You may feel more self-conscious about breaks at home, wondering if you’re taking advantage of your company, but you’ll actually be more productive if you move around once in a while.
But not all breaks are created equal. Apparently, social media does not help your brain. Instead, engage in some yoga, stretch out that back, take a walk, and watch a funny video that makes you laugh.
Spend at least twenty minutes a day doing exercises that strengthen your core, like these from Health Matters.
Also, do something to get your circulation going like using a jump rope or running in place. Bad circulation causes aches, pains, and can eventually lead to serious health issues.
Set Up Your Desk for Best Posture
How you set up your home space can make a huge difference. According to Athletico Physical Therapy:
- Computer screen should be an arm’s length away from you
- Top of the computer screen should be at eye level
- Feet flat on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-100 degree angle
- Back of knees should be about three finger widths from the edge of the chair
Take a Stand
People know that sitting for long periods of time is bad for you. Standing desks became all the rage to avoid these problems. However, health professionals are starting to think that standing for a long period of time isn’t great for you, either.
So what are we supposed to do? Try mixing it up.
Pile some books onto your office desk area and switch to standing for a couple of hours a day. Start for short periods and work up to longer times.
Switch it out and spread out sitting and standing throughout the day.
Invest in an Ergonomic Chair
If you can afford it, you might consider shelling out for a better chair. If you’ll eventually head back to the office, this can be a painful proposition, but it may be worth it.
If you’re staying remote, you should definitely do what you can to get the right equipment for your home office.
Talk to your chiropractor or a physical therapist and see what they recommend. At least look into a cushion made for back support.
Invest in Better Internet
Most importantly, make sure your internet is up to the task of providing excellent service for heavy use. Working from home can put a strain on the household internet connection, and lag times can keep you in your seat longer than you need to be and cause frustration throughout the day —bogging down your overall mental health.
Good luck! Remember, your health matters. Take care of yourself.