The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a sudden shift to the work-from-home setup for many office workers. While staying home is a simple way to keep safe during this unpredictable time, it has posed its challenges in the area of health and physical fitness. As more and more companies are exploring remote work as a long-term arrangement, it’s safe to say that it has become a necessity to have a dedicated space for it at home. But even several months into the setup, it can still be a little tricky to navigate.
Fixing Your Workspace—and Your Posture
If you didn’t have a home office before the lockdowns were in place, there might have been a big question mark about which part of the house to transform into or double as one. Setting up a quiet and ergonomic space is important because your choice of workspace affects your posture and overall physical health.
The couch, the bed, or the dining area may have been your initial options, but the ideal setup is to have a work desk, with your device placed high enough that you don’t have to crouch down to look at the monitor. Laptop users are recommended to use external keyboards and mice when possible to keep the screen within an optimal eye level by having the laptop on a properly elevated surface.
The tendency to be hunched over the computer while working is a major cause of backaches, so maintaining good posture by having the spine properly aligned while seated is important.
And on the topic of chairs, it’s best to have one that provides significant lumbar or lower back support that follows the natural curve of the spine. It should also be at the right height where your feet are resting flat on the ground, forming a right angle with your butt, with knees placed directly above the feet. Also, make sure that your head is above your shoulders and hips.
Remember that remaining in the same position for a long period puts a strain on your body. Taking periodic breaks from work and walking around may be helpful for this. Mayo Clinic recommends simple stretches for your neck, arms, and legs to provide some needed relief throughout the day.
Keeping Bones and Joints Healthy
The lack of stimulation from the significant span of time spent at home is detrimental to the health of your bones and joints, making this an area requiring significant attention while working from home. Stretches are good for the body, but the lethargy from decreased movement means that actually working out may take a bit more effort. Keep in mind that workouts aren’t only a way to stay fit; they can also be a good source of stress relief after a long day of work.
There are a wealth of fitness apps available on the market to help you keep a routine while at home. And if you want to work out with friends, a fun and creative way to do this from a distance is by hosting workout parties via conference calls.
Aside from proper posture and exercise, a healthy diet with plenty of protein, calcium, and other vitamins also promotes bone strength. Studies suggest that excessive intake of alcohol may also put you at risk of osteoporosis, so steering clear of this will be of great benefit to your health.
What to Do When the Aches Are Recurring
When you feel pain in your joints that stretches and exercises can’t seem to get rid of, it may be time to seek help from a professional. Availing of telehealth services may answer some of your concerns, but there are situations that may require chiropractic care to make necessary vertebral adjustments that will address chronic pains brought about by prolonged hours working from home.
A Healthy Mind Helps Maintain a Healthy Body
Mental and physical health should be seen as two sides of the same coin, instead of two separate matters. The physical strain of working from home is usually easier to spot, but it’s equally important to remember that it can take a toll on a person’s mental health, too. This is why mental health breaks are a necessary part of keeping you up and about while at home.
Allow yourself time to recharge—maybe it’s taking a long bath before you sleep, keeping a journal, or enjoying a home-cooked meal. Have a space for yourself outside of work, maintain social connections, and know that a healthy mind helps you make good, healthy decisions for your body.
Meta Title: How to Keep Your Body Active in a Remote Setup
Meta Description: As more companies explore the possibility of maintaining the work-from-home setup, it’s important to have a routine that promotes long-term health for the body.