Working Remotely and Maintaining Mental and Physical Health: Expert Advice

Working remotely is a word combination that used to terrify many of us in the pandemic year of 2020. But soon everything changed drastically and now employees, who experienced all the advantages of “remote work”, simply cannot be lured into the office. This is understandable: convenient work schedule, comfortable conditions and most importantly – no need to spend time on the road and traffic jams. However, this format of work has its own disadvantages. First, the negative impact on physical and mental health.

How Remote Work Affects Health

To begin with, let’s understand how remote work has a negative impact on health. The first and most obvious answer is that this format of work leads to an inactive lifestyle. There is no need to leave the house, walk to the bus stop or parking lot, move around the office.

Get out of bed and sit down at the computer. Comfortable? – Absolutely. But on the other hand, we know that movement is life. And without it, our health can suffer seriously.

Office workers already suffer from a sedentary lifestyle. And in the home office environment, this is further exacerbated by the lack of a normal workstation. And that means welcoming lower back and neck pain.

By the way, this is a proven fact. Italian researchers found that during the transition to remote work, low back pain appeared in 41.2% of employees, and neck pain – in 23.5%.

The next point is a disorderly diet.

At first glance, it seems easier to eat right at home. But in fact, it turns out the opposite – snacking on sandwiches, sweets, frequent tea parties and unwillingness to cook. All of this can easily lead to being overweight.

And the third point is the lack of distinction between “work-home”, which can cause chronic stress and even depression.

Unfortunately, communication in work chats and forums is no substitute for face-to-face communication. And numerous correspondence can stretch the solution of work processes, and incoming notifications can make you pretty nervous and distracted.

How to Work From Home and Stay Healthy

Fortunately, all of the things we’ve listed are easy to fix and minimize if you pay proper attention to the issue.

Increase Physical Activity

Start by introducing regular breaks for physical activity. For example, you can set a timer to get up and move around every hour. This will give your spine a break from the pressure of sitting and allow your muscles to relax.

It’s also a good idea to do a comprehensive program that includes a warm-up, aerobic exercises, rest, and general muscle stretching. You can also just walk.

Train yourself to do this while talking on the phone. Buying a treadmill or exercise bike at home is also a great option. Then you can work out a little bit several times a day.

By the way, a study by scientists at Harvard University proves that treadmill training and other physical activity helps get rid of dry eye syndrome, which occurs when working on a computer for a long time. This happens due to the fact that the production and quality of tears increases.

Arrange the Right Workplace

You can create a comfortable workplace at home. So use this opportunity, instead of sitting with a laptop on the couch. By the way, you don’t have to buy an office chair exclusively. You can choose a chair with plenty of cushioning for the buttocks and lower back support.

Try using a footrest to help take the strain off your back.

This is especially useful for people of short stature, who will be able to keep their knees at an optimum angle of about 90° thanks to the footrest.

What else should you do? Raise the computer monitor to eye level, so that you don’t have to look down all the time as this causes unnecessary pressure on the neck.

Watch Your Diet and Schedule 

Studies prove that people who work from home consume more calories than those who work in the office. This, in turn, leads to weight gain. To avoid such problems, control your diet and drinking regime.

Try to go to bed on time, not staying up late in front of the computer, not only working but also playing at or watching YouTube. It’s better to get up early, and during the day lie down to sleep for 30-60 minutes.

Or just lie for 20 minutes in silence and without gadgets. Fortunately, if you work remotely, it’s easy to do. And then your body and nervous system will thank you.

Take More Walks

To stay in good physical shape and be healthy in spirit, to live without stress and depression, it’s important to walk. And do it on a regular basis. So if you don’t have to get out of the house, force yourself to do it.

At least walk to the store, or set yourself a goal to walk for 30 minutes in your neighborhood.

Preferably do it without a phone in your hands, to really reset and rest. And on top of that, you’ll also get some extra physical activity, which definitely won’t be superfluous if you’re working from home.