12 Aug Smart Tips For Healthy Working
When you are working from home, without the coworkers popping over to your desk or office to chat, it can be easy to forget to take breaks. It is sometimes a chore to remember to eat! But it’s important for your body to ensure that you are paying attention to these things, to keep yourself in optimum health, and away from the physiotherapist’s office!
- Time yourself and schedule breaks. If you need to use a timer on your desk, then do so. It is important to get up at least once every hour to get away from the desk and the computer. When you get up, do some light stretching with your arms and shoulders and neck. If possible, get outside for a little fresh air.
- Ensure proper ergonomics setup of your desk. Be sure your chair is a good one (especially if you work full time!), and keep your feet on the floor in front of you. Be sure to have your keyboard on a sliding drawer that you can bring towards you. Your mouse should be beside your keyboard, so you don’t have to reach ahead for it. Your monitor should be at eye level so you look straight ahead at it. Be sure to have proper task lighting as well.
- If you use a laptop, be sure to set up a workstation on a desk or table. Despite the name ‘laptop’, it is very bad for your posture to sit in the recliner and use your laptop (hey, we all do it!). Be sure to set up a proper workstation for your laptop, and use the ergonomic rules above for it as well.
- Do not eat at your desk. When it is time for a meal or a snack, be sure to enjoy it away from your desk. You will not save very much time by eating at your desk and you will enjoy it more if you can read the paper or just look out the window while you eat. You will also tend to eat less if you don’t snack at your desk.
- Drink plenty of water. It can be easy to drink coffee all day long, but it’s not good for you! Have your cup in the morning, and then switch to water, or substitute with herbal tea in the afternoon. Resist the temptation to microwave it to reheat hot beverages. If you can’t drink it while it’s hot, you really don’t want it.
- Use a headset for your telephone. Cradling a headset while you try to type is not a good plan. Buy a good quality headset and wear it when you are on the phone with someone. It will help you maintain your good posture and free your hands up to type or work if you need to.
- Despite the short commute, pretend you are really headed to the office. Take a shower, brush your teeth and hair and get dressed for your day at work. You don’t have to get the stockings and high heels out, but if you start your day as though you were headed to any other office, you will be more focused and alert and you will feel more like you are at work.
- Avoid distractions, and keep chores separate. In order to maintain your sanity with your family or with personal distractions at home (i.e. laundry, phone calls, grocery shopping, visits from friends or family, and so on), be sure to set a schedule that you will work, and save all of the other tasks for times outside your work schedule. While it might seem like you can multi-task all day, it is better to separate the chores of the home and office into their own chunks, so you remain focused on each as necessary.
By taking care of yourself with these simple suggestions, you will be thanking your body for putting in those long hours, and for helping you to balance life and home.