Working from home is a fabulous opportunity for anyone who desires flexibility in his or her work life. Unfortunately, working from home can wreak just as much havoc on your health as working outside of the home. Those who work from home often work longer hours than those who don’t because the office is just a few steps away. Longer hours at work, no matter the locale, can lead to neglectful habits when it comes to health and fitness. Here are five simple ways you can utilize to take care of yourself from the comfort of your home office:
Drink More Water
Drinking plenty of water is one of the easiest things you can do to keep yourself healthy. Staying hydrated is the first step in maintaining your mental focus and keeping your body in prime condition. Set a goal of at least 48 oz. of water each day. You may want to invest in a filtered pitcher for the fridge, buy a dorm sized fridge for your office and keep it stocked with water bottles or even install a water cooler in the corner of your room. If consuming water throughout the day takes a backseat to soda and coffee, try to at least follow each caffeinated drink with an eight ounce glass of water.
Take Frequent Breaks
People that work from home seem to take fewer breaks than those that work outside of the home. Pretend you are working at an outside office and schedule breaks for yourself. Standard break times for outside-of-the-home employees are one hour for every eight hours. Aim for a 15-minute break every four hours and a 30-minute break for lunch.
Most people that work from home do so hunched over a computer or with their neck bent on the phone. Stop your work every hour or so and give yourself two minutes to stretch. Stretch your shoulders, stand up and bend over to touch your toes, do a few neck rolls, and even stretch out your fingers and wrists. Doing so will keep your joints from stiffening from being in sedentary positions for too long a period of time.
It’s very easy to skip full meals when you’re working from home. Pack a healthy lunch in the morning, or the night before, just as you would if you were leaving for the office. Fruit, yogurt and a small salad can make a fantastic, healthy lunch, and is very easy to prepare.
Get Enough Sleep
Working from home means that you need to organize your time properly, and that includes your sleep time. Your day should comprise of no more than eight or ten hours; resist the temptation to work around the clock simply because it’s convenient. A lack of sleep can contribute to excess stress, susceptibility to illness and a general state of malcontent. A good goal is at least seven hours of straight, uninterrupted sleep.
Working from home is beneficial in many ways but can also be detrimental to your health if you don’t take care of yourself properly. If you’re working from home, be sure to follow these tips to maintain optimal health.