18 June 2020
For most of us, working from home means working from the couch or our beds, which are far cries from the office workstation.
Unless you have a dedicated workspace with an ergonomically designed chair and desk, you’re probably making do with whatever comfortable spot and a flat surface you can find around the home. Chances are, this works just fine for you, but have you stopped to think about how it could be improved?
You’ll be spending most of your waking hours in this position five days a week (if not more). It’s important to ensure that your health isn’t affected negatively. Take a quick break and read about how you can be comfortable and healthy while working from home.
There are three key things you need to always remember – posture, posture and posture. Good posture ensures that your bones are aligned and that all parts of your body are well-distributed for minimal stress. So do a posture check before anything else. Your back should be straight, your shoulders level and your head facing straight forward (look down with your eyes and not by tilting down your head). If you’re working from your bed, use one pillow to support your back and another under your knees.
There are plenty of opportunities to step away from your desk at the office, but you might find that time passes by quicker when you’re working from home. The next thing you know, the day is over and you’ve barely looked up from your screen. Take regular breaks (every 30 minutes to an hour) so you can stretch your entire body, drink some water and reset your posture.
If you work in a seated position, it’s beneficial to stand every once in a while and continue working. In fact, some workplaces have standing desks for this purpose. Standing has been shown to reduce back pain, keep energy levels up and boost productivity. Spend half your day working from the kitchen counter (or any high-enough surface) and take note of how standing, while you work, can change your productivity levels.
Keep all your tools nearby so you don’t have to strain your arm to reach them. This includes your stationery, phone, a glass of water and snacks. Conversely, keep any unnecessary distractions far away so you’re less inclined to reach for them. Your phone and snacks might fall into this category too, depending on your self-control.
Eye strain is one of the most common ailments among working professionals and it can be made worse when working from home. Offices and corporate spaces have fluorescent light bulbs and plenty of natural light whereas our homes can have moodier lighting. You can compensate for a lack of bright light bulbs by keeping the curtains wide open and supplementing with a lamp. Remember to never work in the dark using only the light from your laptop or PC.
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