Currently the world is going through some dramatic changes that means a lot of us are experiencing some dramatic lifestyle changes. One of the most common lifestyle changes we have noticed with our patients is a move from working at the office to working from home.
Working from home & you can wear your pyjamas all day, get to spend more time with your pets or family members you don’t usually get a lot of time with, eat at your desk and you’ll never forget your snacks when you’re two minutes away from your own fridge!
Although all of this sounds like a dream, what we have noticed is less than desirable, an increase in stress levels and a decrease in good spinal health practices!
Pyjamas and your laptop on the couch seems AWESOME, however six hrs or more of constant sitting on the couch is not great for your health! So we have put together a few tips on how you can enjoy your extra time at home while still staying SANE and most importantly staying healthy!
Step 1- Keep your usual routine.
It’s easy to slip into bad habits like sleeping in or taking an extra hr at lunch, this can decrease productivity and increase your stress levels! Not only that, if you stay in an exact if not similar routine as your usual life it will be much easier for you to get used going back to the office.
So get up at the same time, but enjoy the extra long walk with the dog in the morning. Get ready as if you’re going to work- or at least as if it’s casual Friday at the office. Schedule yourself a lunch break at your normal lunch hr and then get back to it, like it’s just another day at the office. This will help keep you mentally alert, motivated and productive.
Step 2- Remove distractions (the best you can)
If you’re at the office usually you don’t have your favourite Netflix series playing in the back ground, so don’t have it on at home! Keep your phone on silent and away from your work area, if needed don’t have your social media icons available on your PC so they are not easily accessible. If rover is a barker-perhaps a few extra bones when your skype meetings are on?
Step 3- Set up your station correctly.
This is SO important. It may be harder for some to find an appropriate work space at home but do the best you can with what you have- your body will thank you for it later. Dedicate a specific area of the house for just your work space, a part of your kitchen bench that is clean and clutter free each day, a study, spare room, coffee table and floor cushions. Do your best to adhere to good ergonomic practices, Elbows at 90 degrees, wrists neutral- no slouching!
Step 4- Keep moving and check your posture AGAIN!
Keep reminding yourself to get up every 30-60mins get some movement in your body, if you can throw in a few exercises or stretches. Are you slouching? How close is your face to the computer? Check and double check your posture while you’re working. One of the most common complaints we have heard about working from home is that you are unable to have a ergonomic work space, so it is important that you take responsibility of your working posture throughout the day. If you need a friendly reminder, there are plenty of great apps you can download on your laptop or PC to remind you when it is time to get up and move, stretch or remind you to check on your posture.
Step 5- Get some fresh air.
If you’re working from home your usual daily commute consists of- from the bed, to the shower, to your work station. Before you know it 4pm hits then its from the work station, to the kitchen back to bed! Make some time to get outside, whether it is on your lunch break, in the morning or that extra time you have in the afternoon not sitting in traffic, its important you allow your mind to wind down and step away from work. Just because work is at home, it does not mean you can’t take a break from it.