How do you stay fit when working at home a lot? Danny is a consultant in Occupational Health and Safety and a physiotherapist at ProActief (Dutch website) in the Netherlands. ProActief is the lifestyle and health club in Almere where you receive personal guidance to ensure that you are fit and healthy. Through the combination of physiotherapy, personal training, and CrossFit, they provide vitality and health.
For several years now, more and more people have been coming to ProActief with physical as well as mental issues related to working from home. According to Danny, many issues can be prevented by following a few simple tips.
The home office is probably not equipped for long-term remote working. You work wherever you can use your laptop. That can be at the dinner table or maybe you have a desk with a nice chair. However, you can avoid many health problems by buying an ergonomic chair and a height-adjustable desk that you can set it to just the right height. A monitor at the right height, a good mouse, and a keyboard are also important.
Make sure you have enough knowledge about how to set up the workstation correctly. Ask your employer for help if you need it.
In addition to a properly adjusted workstation, it is of course important to keep active while working. Therefore, take a micro-break after every half hour. That sounds like a lot, but it’s a small form of movement such as throwing away a piece of paper, getting some water, or walking to the toilet.
Static strain (repeatedly making the same movements) causes constant tension in certain places, which inhibits the blood flow to those places. Dynamic stress (movement) stimulates the blood circulation by the alternation of tension and relaxation which also stimulates the supply of nutrients and removal of toxins.
So move the trash can a little further away, get a glass of water downstairs or upstairs, drink enough water (then you also go to the toilet more often), switch between mouse work and typing, go for a walk after or during lunch, and try to meet while standing. And if you want to do it really well, agree with colleagues to do the meeting outside during a walk. Take the phone with you and consult while you move around and breathe fresh air.
Working from home can also mean that the boundary between work and private life disappears. You probably recognize this: answering an email after dinner while watching a movie on the couch. Being able to sit at home and relax is very important for your health. Therefore, (if possible) set up a study where you only come to work.
During breaks, leave the work in the workspace and then really get away from the workplace for a while. Keep to your working hours and only do work tasks during working hours. And when you are not working, don’t work. Give it a try.