The data is clear. The demand for work-from-home is on the rise.
According to McKinsey, when offered the opportunity to work remotely at least some of the week, 87 percent of workers take it. And with 58 percent of the workforce having the ability to work from home at least part-time, developing wellness in the (at-home) workspace becomes increasingly important.
While WFH flexibility is linked with a 20 percent increase in employee happiness, it can also have adverse effects on health due to lack of ergonomic set-up and mental health boundaries. For those learning to transform WFH into a lifestyle, read on below for the trending tips-and-tricks for WFH life to develop habits and rituals that create a healthier and more balanced life.
Create An Ergonomic Home Office
When COVID-19 sent over one-third of the workforce home to work in cramped bedrooms and overcrowded kitchen tables, no one knew how long the work-from-home life would last.
Now, post-pandemic fully-remote workers need to consider moving beyond working off kitchen tables and makeshift desks to an ergonomic office for long term health and safety.
Ergonomics matters. It prevents back pain, poor posture, stress and depression, and keeps us feeling comfortable and pain-free.
Improve your at-home ergonomics by ensuring your screen level is at your eyes and your keyboard is at elbow-level to keep your hands and wrists in a neutral position.
Lastly, consider investing in a sitting and standing desk to assist with posture and overall alertness. Learn more about finding a desk here.
Assess Your Space
Ready to invest in a quality work-from-home space? Take Herman Miller’s assessment here to learn how to optimize and maximize your wellness at home.
Follow the 20/20/20 Rule
Computer vision syndrome (or digital eye strain) is a collection of vision and eye problems caused by prolonged screen time – ranging from eyestrain and headaches to blurred vision and dry eyes.
To reduce digital eye strain, follow the 20-20-20 rule, which recommends looking away from your screen for 20 seconds every 20 minutes at 20 feet away. A further distance allows your eyes to maintain focal flexibility and relax from the mid-focus range.
Optometrists recommend setting a timer or reminder, with apps like Eye Reliever made to help.
With WFH workers saving time on their former daily commutes, a growing wellness trend suggests “fauxmuting” instead. Before WFH was popularized, commutes provided many the mental time needed to wind down and relax, without moving into the next mental activity right away.
To capture that same work boundary, fauxmuting is the act of walking, cycling, or running for approximately 10 to 15 minutes before and after work to help disconnect from work and do something you enjoy.
Not only does it help combat aches and pains, it also helps lower stress according to UK’s University College of London. Grab some sneakers or a bike, and start fauxmuting for wellness and relaxation.
If Fauxmuting isn’t your thing, then you can still incorporate some physical activity with the growing world of deskercise. Ongoing movement throughout the day is important for long-term health, with recent research suggesting that post-work cardio may not be enough to combat the sedentary lifestyle of the WFH worker.
Ranging from under-the-desk bike pedal exercisers to standing desks with mini-steppers, there are an abundance of desk-friendly machines you can use everyday to help keep your body moving.
For a no-budget option, you can also set an alarm to stretch at your desk – from forward stretches for the back to shoulder shrugs to re-calibrate your posture. Turn these stretches into a habit to make sure you’re moving your body throughout the day.
For WFH workers experiencing wrist-pain, keep those wrists pain-free with wrist-friendly workout videos for at-home fitness. This Peaceful Dumpling article highlights a range of wrist-friendly workouts for your personal goals and needs, to minimize carpal tunnel and tendonitis in the wrist.
Invest in Blue Light-Blocking Glasses
Look stylish while protecting your eyes and overall health with blue light-blocking glasses.
Blue light-blocking glasses reduce eye strain and assist with sleep by limiting the exposure of blue light exposure you get from your screen. Blue light has been linked with the slowing and stopping of melatonin production (also known as the chemical that tells your body to sleep), therefore disrupting your body’s natural circadian rhythm.
Note: Not all blue light-blocking glasses are made equally. According to BlockBlueLight, most cheap glasses only filter 10-20 percent of blue light and do not protect eyes from the majority of blue light side effects.
No matter where you work, these wellness habits can help shape your mind, body, and spirit. Find the wellness routine that’s right for you, and integrate the WFH wellness tips to create a happier and healthier you.
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Photo: Helena Lopez via Unsplash