If you’re an online worker, that usually means you work from home. Your job relies on a computer, your internet connection, and your ability to sit down for hours on end. You get the job done, have a measure of control over your hours, and make decent money.
You’re also putting your health at risk in various ways. Here are a few tips on how to reduce the medical risks associated with working from home.
First, invest in a good chair. You want one that’s ergonomically sound, with the option to adjust the little things for maximum support, alignment, and comfort.
You could also toss the chair entirely. Use a standing desk, giving your back a break and keeping you on your feet.
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For both better productivity and better health, you want a separate space for your home office.
The area should be strictly for work, rather than anything else. This means that there’s a clear line that must not be crossed, allowing you to focus only on professional obligations. It also means that once you move out of that space, you disassociate yourself from the work and focus on personal needs.
Even just a desk and chair will do. Don’t work on the couch and don’t work in bed. Separate the personal from the professional.
Once an hour, get on your feet and take a quick walk. Sure, you’re really comfortable sitting down and relaxed. Getting up might break your mental rhythm. However, you really should get on your feet and stretch your legs.
Once per day, get out in the sun. It’ll do wonders for refreshing your mental state.
In terms of productivity and overall health, making a schedule is important. Stick to a set number of hours, both because it helps you keep up a routine and it helps you look more professional. Work during the daylight hours, treat the arrangement as if it was an office job.
Try and throw in a workout here and there. During your lunch hours, go for a walk or a job. Get some time in the gym before you start working. Use your flexibility to your advantage.
Make sure your working environment is soothing. You have free reign to alter things like colours and layout, so make use of that. If you like having scented candles to concentrate, use them. If you want to have a lot more natural light, place your desk to maximize the windows.
Maintain a healthy balance between the personal and the professional.
Log your work hours – if you get paid by the hour, you’re already doing this – and set limits. Check how many hours you can work in a day without taxing your personal time. Don’t spend too much time, but don’t do so little that you can’t pay the bills, either.
Clean up as part of your pre-work routine. Shower. Dress nicely. This helps get your mind in the right space for being professional, for doing things properly.