The pandemic has forced many employees to work from home since it began. Though the setup comes with benefits like flexible hours, zero commutes, and better work-life balance, it also has a couple of disadvantages. Research from the University of Southern California found that among nearly 1,000 remote-working respondents, 65% reported physical health issues, such as back pain, eye strain, and headaches. More alarmingly, 74% reported dips into their mental wellbeing caused by burnout, stress, and other factors.
Fortunately, there are many natural ways to heal — and even prevent — the health consequences of remote work. Below are some of them:
Stick to a Routine
Dedicate certain hours of your day for work and rest. Set boundaries to separate yourself from your job at the end of the day and during weekends. Working remotely can make it easy to extend hours since you’re in charge of your own schedule. However, if this develops into a habit, it can take a toll on your physical and mental health.
To prevent this, have an alarm set for when you should start and stop working. Inform your coworkers and boss of your work hours. Communicate with your clients or employers regarding your availability. At the end of your workday, spend time with your family and friends. Indulge in your hobbies and interests to get you to step out of your productive mode. Stick to a schedule that works best for you.
Don't Skip Meals
With there being no strict food break at home, it can be tempting to work the entire day. However, it’s important not to skip meals in order to have the energy you need to work. Medical News Today states that remote workers may even be more aware of their hunger at home than in the office, so they're distracted more easily. To avoid getting hungry while working, keep healthy snacks like fruits or mixed nuts at your disposal. Have a water bottle nearby to keep you from being dehydrated.
Have an Ergonomic Setup
If your home office is designed for comfort, it will increase your focus and decrease your stress. This is why telehealth provider Wheel recommends setting up your home office with your table and chair at the appropriate height. To check, your forearms should be able to rest comfortably at a right angle on your table. When seated on a chair, both feet should be planted on the ground. Investing in an ergonomic chair with a headrest and back support is the best way to prevent back pain.
You can also raise your laptop or monitor to eye level by using a riser. If your device is too high or low, you may experience cramps and neck pain. Your screen should also be at least 20 inches away from your eyes.
Meditation will help you relax and release stress before and after your day. This not only benefits your physical health but also your mental wellbeing. Plus, our article "Pain Primer" outlines that the increased awareness you achieve by meditating is a way for your mind to gain control. This way, you’ll be able to focus and work more effectively at home.
If you’re a beginner at meditation, your first experience can start by staying quiet for a short period. Set a timer for 10 minutes and sit still for the whole time. be aware of your breathing and allow your mind to wander. When the timer is up, take a moment to absorb your surroundings. There is no single right approach to meditation, so keep experimenting and do what’s comfortable for you.
Remote work can have its ups, but it’s also accompanied by downs. Given this, it’s crucial for you to maintain your physical and mental health at home. Hopefully, our tips will help you.
Our blog post is a collaborative effort by the founders of More Natural Healing in conjunction with Editors of Renewed Health Alliance, and our board of advisors including doctors, herbalists, and experts in using natural herbs and supplements to enhance our daily lives. We only provide information that has been researched, validated, and vetted for our posts and includes validation from experts in the herbal community. A person of interest on this post is the talented writing ofRachel Jany. Rachel is a contributing writer and blogger for More Natural Healing & Renewed Health Alliance