Battle work from home side effects with these tips
Working from home makes us sedentary which results in all sorts of issues. Photo: iStock
Many of us have been working from home for months thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And while avoiding early morning traffic and not having to get all dressed up every day is nice, remote work has made us more sedentary than usual.
Gone are the mid-morning walks to buy coffee and the lunch time walks to look for food and, for those who don’t drive, the walks to and from the taxi, maxi or bus.
Working from home means working longer hours for many, sitting at your desk or couch or wherever is most comfortable in your house.
Sure, we might get up occasionally to prepare meals or make sure the kids are paying attention in online class, but the amount of steps we take now aren’t anywhere close to what we did before.
As a result, some of us may be feeling a little stiffness in our hips when we walk, or dealing with a nagging pain in our necks or even battling headaches.
If this sounds familiar, here are some solutions Coach Nico of Urban Fitness gave us.
Give your eyes and body a rest with little breaks throughout the day. Coach Nico says you can set alarms every hour on your phone to remind you to put down your work and get up just to stretch or do an activity.
Sitting for too long everyday can result in stiff muscles. Dedicate some time each day to get moving through exercise. Go for a walk, stretch your muscles with some yoga or look for simple exercises to do at home to address specific issues you may be experiencing. Coach Nico says stretching exercises such as bridges help with your lower back and hip flexors.
Invest in the right furniture
Sitting in the wrong chair can affect your posture and staring down at your laptop could affect your neck. Buy an ergonomic chair or if you can't afford one, place a pillow on a dining chair. That helps with circulation for the back of your legs says Coach Nico. If you are in a meeting and cannot get up, remind yourself to do some circulation movements. Coach Nico advises that you can rotate your ankles and stretch out your legs for example.
Train yourself to have good posture
Coach Nico says good posture can help you to avoid a lot of problems. Train yourself to sit properly by placing cues around to remind you. You could also use a standing desk to do your work or look for one of those laptop stands that allows you to elevate your laptop so you can get some relief. If you can’t afford anything, use a stack of books or a small box to keep your laptop at eye-level.
Get good lighting
To avoid straining your eyes, invest in a good lamp or brighter lights or try to position your workspace in an area with natural light.