Check out these tips to stay healthy when you work from home

Woman working from home

Things are moving and changing quickly with the news of coronavirus (COVID-19). In an effort to help employees combat the illness, many companies have asked their teams to work from home when possible.

Hurray! No more commute, you get to work in your pajamas and you’re free to rummage through the fridge while on a conference call.

But once the initial excitement of working from home wears off, it can be daunting to realize it’s up to you to make this thing, well, work.

Below are some of the strategies on how to keep your healthy habits and productivity in check while working remotely.

Get up and move.

Quite frankly, sitting is killing us. New findings are telling us that inactivity is killing more people than smoking. Stopping your work every hour to take even a 10-minute break can make all the difference. Find apps, such as Time Out, that will remind you to take regular breaks or set 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.

Skip the sugary snacks.

When you’re home alone, no one is there to judge you for eating six cookies you made for your kids’ lunches—for breakfast. A full refrigerator and pantry can spell disaster for people with little willpower. To avoid unhealthy eating habits, plan out your snacks ahead of time. Purchase items like fruits, nuts, granola bars, and hummus, and make them easily accessible so that you’re less tempted to mindlessly munch on sweets. Portion your healthy snacks out to make them easy to grab and eat.

Take care of your eyes.

Let’s say that you’re totally engrossed in a presentation that you’ve been working on for weeks. In fact, you’re so absorbed in what you’re doing that you don’t even realize that you’re now sitting closer to your screen, which isn’t safe for your eyes. Just like the rest of your body, you need to give your eyeballs a break when you work from home. So make sure to look away from your screen 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.

Stick to a schedule.

If you’re lucky enough to have a flexible schedule, it can be easy to hit the snooze button multiple times since you don’t have to start working promptly at 8:00 a.m. Or perhaps you want to take a “quick” break in the afternoon…and find yourself still on break two hours later. 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.

Set up a healthy work area.

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 or is it so warm you’re falling asleep? All of these things will surely affect your mental health—and your physical health as well. Raise the blinds to get a boost of vitamin D, open the windows for some fresh air, and add some plants for increased happiness and a host of other health benefits.

Get dressed.

Sure, working from home means you can wear pretty much wear whatever you want (unless you’re going to be in video conferences or meet with clients, that is). As enticing as it might be to toil away in PJs all day, though, it’s actually detrimental to your health. Not only does it impede productivity, but you might be more likely to make poorer food choices or forget to get up and move around. A better option—workout clothes, which can be an oh-so-subtle reminder for you to get some exercise in while you work from home.


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