How To Stay Healthy Working From Home

Keeping your body and mind healthy can be a challenge when you work from home. These remote job tips will provide guidance to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Staying healthy will help you feel refreshed, energized, and sharp.

Although there are several conveniences of working remotely, those benefits sometimes come with a caveat. For example, when working from home you are less likely to perform physical activity because you don’t have to commute. And you are less likely to socialize because you don’t go to a physical office.

But if you apply these remote job tips to your current lifestyle, you can avoid the pitfalls of remote working. After just a few minor adjustments, you can start to see improvements in your quality of life while working remotely from home.

1.) Get Physically Active

Physical activity is the crux of maintaining a good overall quality of life. When your body is fit, you feel more comfortable and your ability to focus is increased.

Use a Standing Desk

When you work remotely from home, there is not much physical activity required at all. Nearly all remote jobs rely on digital activities, which means you will spend a considerable amount of time sitting down and looking at a computer screen. So how can you stay physically fit while working from home? These remote job tips can help with that.

Standing Desk – Courtesy of Amazon

Some health experts say that sitting down for prolonged periods of time strongly correlates with health issues that arise as you get older. Reducing the amount of time that you sit down can have a positive impact on your health in the long term.

A standing desk allows you to elevate the surface of the desk so that you can perform all of your desk duties while standing up. It might seem like it would be harder to type on the keyboard and use the computer while standing up, but it’s actually not much different than doing those things while sitting down. The key is to set the desk height to a convenient level so that your arms can rest in a comfortable position.

Most standing desks are now electronic, making them very easy to use. They have buttons that you can press to set the height of the desk and a built-in motor that slides the desk into position automatically. This means that you can switch between sitting and standing within a few seconds.

Use a Desk Treadmill/Elliptical

While using a standing desk can help reduce the risks associated with prolonged sitting, adding a desk treadmill underneath the desk will boost the benefits much further. Slow walking on the treadmill for a few hours a day while you work on the computer can help you lose weight, reduce your chances of heart disease and give you more energy throughout the day.

Elliptical – Courtesy of Amazon

But there’s also the more portable under-desk elliptical for when you want to burn calories while you sit down. It delivers similar results as the treadmill, but in a smaller form factor that you can take practically anywhere.

…Or Just Exercise

Of course, you don’t need a standing desk nor a treadmill to exercise. A brisk jog around the neighborhood or lifting weights at the gym will help to keep you healthy and refreshed throughout the day. Activities that keep your heart rate up for a prolonged period of time (known as cardio) will improve your cardiovascular (heart) health in the long term.

2.) Eat Healthy

What you choose to eat -and when you eat it- has a direct correlation with your mood, energy levels and mental clarity. Working remotely from home can give you more freedom over how you eat. But without guidelines, it’s easy to fall into bad eating habits. These next remote job tips will help you adopt good eating habits so you can feel energized and refreshed while working remotely from home.

Avoid Fast Food

The specifics of what you should eat depends on your body type. Some people prefer to load up on meat proteins while other people enjoy eating only vegan options. But either way, avoiding fast foods and processed foods will surely be beneficial. especially in combination with some form of regular exercise.

Stay Hydrated

But staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water (and not soda) is just as important for staying healthy as eating well. Some folks have said that it helps to get rid of grogginess- boosts clarity and focus. Others have touted that their vision became more clear. And a few have even said that their skin became more clear. The “8×8” rule is to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, which is the equivalent of a half gallon.

If you find yourself drinking soda or juices frequently, there’s a simple way to fix that. Stock your fridge with lots of cold water, and stop buying soda and juices! Then whenever you’re thirsty, you’ll have no excuse not to drink water.

Do Intermittent Fasting

While intermittent fasting has become a popular fad over the last few years, many cultures have naturally incorporated it for hundreds and thousands of years.

One of the most popular and easiest forms of fasting the the 16/8 method. It means that you eat within an 8 hour window, then skip meals for the remaining 16 hours. By eating lunch and dinner but skipping breakfast, you can apply this diet to your current eating schedule without a lot of change. Fasting is said to help reduce weight due to how it affects your metabolism.

Some folks have said that being a little bit hungry helps to improve mental sharpness. Just don’t overdo it.

3.) Maintain a Social Life

Mental health is just as important as physical health when working remotely from home. Being physically isolated from coworkers can be very tough for some folks. And when working remotely, you have to take your social life into your own hands. The following remote job tips will help alleviate some of the loneliness that comes with working remotely from home.

Eat Lunch or Dinner with Friends

Everyone’s gotta eat. It’s the most natural social activity that you can engage in. Folks who work in an office tend to naturally spend time together during their lunch break. So why can’t you still experience that while working from home? You can take the initiative and invite a local friend out for lunch. Just remember to choose the healthy options!

Join a MeetUp Group

If you want to meet new people with similar interests, you can join the MeetUp website and participate in local events. Whether you’re into programming, marketing, sports or live music, you’ll find a MeetUp group that suits your taste and nice people that want to chat. You’ll never know what great people you might meet and the kind of opportunities that it can lead to.

Do some work at a Starbucks

Working from home isn’t the only option. Going to a cafe to work will trigger the same feeling as “going to work”. If you strategically choose a cafe that’s a few miles from home- and choose to walk there instead of driving- then you can burn calories every day without going to the gym. The atmosphere of a Starbucks is similar to an office- people are working, chatting and sipping delicious coffee drinks. For some people, an office-like atmosphere helps them feel more motivated.

4.) Spend Time Away From the Screen

Working remotely from home means that your work is likely digital and requires looking at a computer screen for long periods of time. What happens when your work is digital, but your hobbies are also digital? If we aren’t using a computer, then we’re likely using a phone or tablet. You may end up spending an embarrassingly long time looking at the screen. And it’s not good for your eyes.

There are a few things that can go wrong when looking at digital displays frequently. These remote job tips should help to keep your eye vision healthy while you work remotely from home.

Adjust Screen Brightness to the Environment

If you find yourself frequently squinting your eyes while looking at the computer screen, then you know for sure that something needs to change.

If the environment is dark, then you should set your screen brightness to also be dark. And if the environment is bright, then it’s equally as important to brighten your screen. The key is to match your screen’s brightness to the environment so that your eyes don’t have to make harsh adjustments that cause eye strain.

Some laptops will adjust the screen brightness automatically, but it’s not perfect because it uses the laptop’s front-facing camera. Since the front-facing camera scans the brightness in the back of you, it doesn’t do a great job of knowing how bright it is in front of you. This is something to be careful of when relying on such automated technology.

The 20-20-20 Rule

Medical experts have coined a term called the “20-20-20 rule”. It means that after spending 20 minutes looking at a computer screen, you should then look at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. Rinse and repeat.

Looking 20 feet away puts your eyes in a relaxed position, and it takes around 20 seconds for your eyes to fully relax. You can use your phone’s timer app to remind you to follow the rule consistently.

Take a Break from Digital

Of course, the most straight-forward solution to reducing eye strain is to simply take a break from the computer. And the smartphone, tablet and TV, too. Go outside and take a walk without pulling out your phone. Enjoy nature. Get some fresh air.

5.) Set Your Work Hours

When you work remotely from home, there’s sometimes the perception that you’re “always online”. It’s important to set your work hours so that your colleagues know when (and when not) to contact you with the expectation of a speedy response. If you fail to set this expectation, you’ll find yourself working more hours than you’re obligated to, getting less sleep, and reluctantly working late on Friday nights. These remote job tips will help you balance your schedule.

Say Goodbye Everyday

When working remotely, you’ll likely use some sort of chat application like Slack to communicate with the team. Because of this, you can’t wave goodbye or use body language to indicate that you’re signing off.

You should explicitly send a message to the team saying “signing off” or “have a great day everyone”. This signals to the team that you’re going to be offline and they should not expect you to respond to messages until tomorrow. It seems like a simple thing, but a lot of remote workers don’t do this!

Add Structure to your Schedule

When you work remotely from home, there are less reasons to leave the house. When you don’t commute to work, you might also stop performing other activities that go along with it. But without those intermediate activities, it might feel like your day is empty and lost.

Add structure to your day by performing regular activities outside the house. Go to the cafe in the morning to grab a coffee. Take a trip to your local deli to grab some lunch supplies. Walk to the gym in the evenings. You know, normal human stuff.

Conclusion

Working remotely from home comes with challenges for sure. But your life doesn’t have to shift entirely just because of your work situation. Taking full control over your physical, mental and social wellbeing can be very empowering once all the pieces are in place. By staying healthy and living an optimal lifestyle, remote working can be a dream come true.

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