How to stay healthy when you work from home

In our blog of work from home tips, we outlined some of the ways the employees at Pure Visibility have set up a successful work from home routine by doing things like setting regular hours, creating a dedicated work zone, and taking frequent breaks. 

This advice has helped us keep our minds sharp as we telecommute, but working from home can affect more than our mind. With so much of our time now spent indoors, we’ve had easy access to the kitchen and likely spent more time off our feet — and that can have a significant effect on our physical health. According to Mayo Clinic, “Any extended sitting — such as at a desk, behind a wheel or in front of a screen — can be harmful. An analysis of 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking.” 

So what do we need to do to stay healthy when we work from home? Here are some tips:

5 tips to stay fit and eat healthy when telecommuting

  1. Focus on your posture. When we work from home it can be tempting to slouch at our makeshift desk or to sprawl out on the couch. But poor posture can “lead to excessive strain on our postural muscles,” and make us more prone to injury and back pain, according to The American Chiropractic Association.  Check out the Mayo Clinic’s guide to office ergonomics for tips on maintaining good posture while you work.
  2. Pre-plan snacks. In our blog on working from home with kids, we discussed the advantages of having a morning and afternoon snack ready to go. You can keep pre-portioned, healthy options on hand to help both kids and adults combat mindless snacking.
  3. Incorporate a workout into your daily routine. When you stay active, you help counteract the harmful effects of prolonged sitting, which can improve both our physical and mental health. You can workout at home by doing things like taking a walk or signing up for an online class; at Pure Visibility, many of us have been taking livestream classes with one of our clients, MOVE Wellness, to incorporate more movement into our week.
  4. Drink enough water. According to the Center for Disease Control, drinking water helps us regulate our temperature, lubricate joints, get rid of wastes, and protects our spinal cord. Keep a glass of water near your workstation to help you remember to hydrate throughout the day.  
  5. Get outside. You can break up your day and enjoy a number of health benefits when you go for a walk. According to Harvard Health, going outdoors can increase our vitamin D levels, elevate our mood, and even improve our concentration.
  6. Limit your caffeine intake. Although many telecommuters enjoy a cup (or several) of coffee in the morning, it’s possible to overdo it. The Cleveland Clinic recommends drinking no more than two cups of coffee a day, as too much caffeine is “known to cause headaches, anxiety, digestive issues and even fatigue.”

Make long-term changes for work from home health

Many of us don’t know when we’ll be able to safely return to our offices. We’re in this for the long haul and should adjust our habits accordingly. Whether we’re eager to resume or commute or would like to make our work from home lifestyle more permanent, it’s good to set healthy habits now.

 Want more tips on working from home? Check out our work from home survival guide here.