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Simple Health Checks For Working From Home

Joanna Clare

The autonomy that working from home gives, is a fairly recent occurence and is becoming increasingly popular, often being obligatory during the recent pandemic. As the restrictions eased and the ‘new normal’ became apparent for most people in their everyday working lives, many have found themselves continuing the trend of working from home.

If we look back to around forty years ago, working from home was almost non-existent with only 1.5% of people reporting to have worked from home at the time. According to statistics taken from the ONS earlier this year, the percentage of people working from home in the UK was currently at 30.6% which is quite a large proportion of the workforce working from home for some or all of their working hours.

To work from home in a safe, healthy and comfortable environment that promotes utmost productivity, the space you choose to work in should be a positive experience.

Physical comfort when working from home, which is usually from a computer screen, can be enhanced by good quality seating which is specially designed for sitting in for long periods.Also it is wise to invest in a suitable table which is high enough so that your screen is clearly visible and you don’t find yourself having to compromise your posture - especially your back and neck - or your eyesight in any way. Try to aim for the top half of any screen to be fairly level with your eyes so as to minimise any discomfort. Take regular breaks and change your posture as often as you feel necessary.

Stay hydrated. There are many apps available for your phone which can remind you to drink enough water during the day and this is especially important as you can sometimes lose track of time when working from home and being obliged to fulfill important deadlines. Dehydration can cause tiredness, lethargy and impairment of concentration which can lead to making unnecessary mistakes so have a glass of water next to your work space at all times.

As well as staying hydrated, adequate nutrition is just as important. It is easy to forget this if you are working hard  but if you take timed breaks and a lunch break at around the same time each day, then hopefully you will set yourself up for a healthy routine. Try not to be tempted to snack on junk food which is easily replaced by healthy alternatives.

Try to get outside each day. Nature is proven to be extremely beneficial for mental health. Even if you do not have access to a garden then taking a brisk walk outdoors will work wonders and rejuvenate you for the rest of your working day.

Ventilation has a significant impact on your health. The air quality indoors can be up to five times worse than outdoors so have a window open and maybe some air purifying plants near to your work space.

Your lighting is also important for your working environment. Of course, natural lighting is preferable so you should strive to optimise daylight.Lamps that give you suitable light for your working needs are advisable as you do not want the room too bright, too dark or shadows being cast around the room as again, this will disrupt concentration and compromise eyesight.

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