GENERAL HEALTH
August 13th, 2021
3 mins read

10 Important Work From Home Health Tips to Follow

Working from home can lead to physical, mental, and emotional burnout

Meditate, practice mindfulness for mental health during work from home

Consult a therapist for personalized work from home health tips

From not stepping out without a mask to relying on e-commerce for all our needs, the pandemic brought a number of changes right to our doorsteps. Some of these changes, however, will leave a lasting impact. One such reality is that of working from home, the new normal that has both advocates and critics.

No matter where you stand on the debate of working remotely, the very fact that workdays now start and end at home takes a lot of adjusting to. The blurring lines between personal and professional lives may have you thinking how to compartmentalize and juggle it all. Although working from home has its own share of benefits, it also ushers in anxiety, boredom, and stress. About 65% of the Indian workforce is ready to head back to the office after a year of WFH, as per a survey by Barco [1].

There is no doubt that work from home affects mental health and makes it harder to find a work-life balance. A study of people working from home reported a decrease in physical movement. The extended hours of exposure to screens leads to fatigue, headaches, and eye-related problems among other physical health issues [2]. Poor mental health can further lead to chronic physical conditions [3]. However, better time management is one way to cope. While this isn’t a cakewalk, with proper physical and psychological stimulation, it is very much achievable.

Read on for some work from home healthcare tips that will help you improve your physical and mental health during work from home. 

Work from home and mental health 

In a survey conducted by Hubble, every 1 in 5 people reported that working from home has taken a toll on their mental health. It also reported that the chances of improving mental health in women is lower compared to men. [4] Travel restrictions and decline in social life has left people with feelings of isolation, increasing the risk of stress and anxiety. Other reasons for the deteriorating mental health are linked with inability to adapt, increased workload and more working hours. Another study reported that work from home leads to fatigue, stress, depression, reduced wellbeing and quality of life. [5] It is clear that work from home affects mental health 

Work from home mental health issues faced by many 

  • Feeling socially disconnected  
  • Failure to prioritize tasks and set a routine 
  • Feeling demotivated or helpless  
  • Emotional, physical, and mental burnout
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Being unable to maintain a healthy lifestyle 

Work from home physical health tips 

  • Eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables 

Eat at your regular time to maintain physical health and have foods rich in vitamins, minerals. Include fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products in your diet. Avoid or limit consuming saturated fats, sodium, added sugars, and processed foods [6]. It is also not a good habit skip meals [7] just because you have a lot of work to complete!

  • Keep yourself hydrated at all times 

Prevent yourself from dehydration by drinking a lot of water and stay refreshed. This helps you prevent many health problems including unclear thinking, kidney stones, constipation, and mood swings [8]. The recommended daily fluid intake for men is 3 liters and for women is 2.2 liters. [9]

  • Get the required amount of sleep 

Long working hours from home can disturb your sleep and can even lead to insomnia. Make sure that you follow a schedule for everything including your sleep routine. The Sleep Foundation recommends getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night to improve physical, mental and overall health. [10]

  • Be physically active and exercise daily 

Think of it this way: the time you would have spent commuting can be used to exercise at home. If possible, use a standing desk to work instead of sitting at a place for long. Take at least 30 minutes out to exercise every day [11]. You can also take a 5 to 10 minutes’ walk to refill your physical and mental energy as part of your work from home health care.

  • Invest in a comfortable work setup 

The CDC suggests an office chair with an armrest for comfortable seating. Avoid working on a couch, bed or soft chairs. Place your monitor at or below eye level. If you are using a laptop, increase the display size to reduce eyestrain and take regular breaks from the screen [12]. Sitting with the right posture and taking breaks can help maintain your physical health.

Additional read: 6 Effective Lifestyle Habits to Stay Healthy While at Home 

work from home health tips

Work from home mental health tips 

  • Breathe fresh air and take breaks 

Sitting at one place for long and working continuously on your desktop can strain your mental health. It can lead to fatigue, anxiety, and stress. Take a break from your work and go for a walk in nature, if possible. Make a habit of taking short breaks of 5 to 10 minutes in between your working hours. This will help you improve productivity.

  • Work on personal relationships 

Working at home without being socially active can impact your mental health. It can also create distance in your relationship with others and make you feel lonely and tired. Spend time with your family and loved ones after working hours. Connect with your friends and distant family members over voice or video calls. You can also hang out with your colleagues online and build healthy bonds.

  • Set a routine and follow it 

Working from home can no doubt blur the lines between your personal and office life. Thus, it is important for you to maintain a work routine and follow it. Working beyond it can mentally and emotionally tire you. So, turn off your computer once your working hours are over. Go for an evening walk, ride a bicycle, or spend quality time with your family to detox yourself. The CDC also suggests setting boundaries between your work and home life. [12]

  • Focus on the benefits of work from home 

Look at the bright side to tackle work from home mental health issues. Working from home can improve your productivity, give a sense of satisfaction, reduce hours and money spent in commutes, reduce distractions and provide control of your workday. Focusing on the positives helps you lower your stress and boost mental health.

  • Reduce stress and maintain work-life balance 

Meditate or practice mindfulness. This helps you focus and concentrate better. It further helps you control your stress and depression. Talking to loved ones can also help reduce stress levels and improve psychological wellbeing [13]. Find a balance between your work and home life by following a proper routine and some of the other work from home health suggestions.

Additional Read: Are You Forgetting Your Emotional Health? 11 Ways to Stay Emotionally Healthy

Improve your overall health by trying out some of the work from home mental health tips listed above to improve your overall health. Be sure to watch out for symptoms of burnout too and don’t be shy about taking time off work for yourself and your family when you need to. Just like you get regular health checkups to care for physical well-being, pay attention to your emotions and stress to know when you need help to boost your mental well-being. Consult with a therapist to discuss any challenges regarding work from home health on Bajaj Finserv Health. Book virtual or in-clinic appointments with the best doctors near you and ensure you’re both healthy and happy!

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