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Article written by Raine Jimson
Exclusively for balanced habits

Although vaccine rollouts have lowered the risks associated with COVID-19, the majority of workers don’t want to return to the office. A recent Pew Research survey revealed that 61% of remote workers in America continue to work from home out of personal preference, even as their offices have reopened. Participants cited work-life balance, COVID, and childcare as the main benefits of working from home.

However, working from home comes with its own set of risks. Many remote workers face challenges like Zoom fatigue and burnout. Additionally, work from home setups can promote sedentary lifestyles, which can cause long-term health problems when not corrected. So with that in mind, the following health tips can help workers keep their bodies and minds protected as they work from home.

Plan Your Meals In Advance

Remote work gives you easy access to your kitchen, so healthy eating should be a lot easier. However, if coming up with healthy meals each day feels like too much work on top of your other obligations, it’s best to plan your meals in advance. Each weekend, make a list of meals you want to eat throughout the week. Seeing the bigger picture can help you determine whether you’re getting enough nutrients each week. Your meal lists can also guide you as you shop for groceries.

Keep a Food Journal

In our list of ‘7 Balanced Habits of Healthy People’, we recommended starting a food journal. Every day, list down the foods you have eaten, how you felt throughout the day, and what changes your body might have experienced. This can help you identify which foods harm your body. For example, if you find that you usually experience stress after drinking milk, then it might be a good idea to find a dairy substitute.

Schedule Workouts

To ensure that you don’t neglect physical activity, include exercise in your daily routine. Thrive Global’s article on staying active while working remotely recommends carving out some time for exercise before or after work. Exercising in the morning allows you to start work energized, while exercising after work can help you decompress. You can also set alarms for stretching during work. This way, you can break up the time you spend sitting down.

Create an Ergonomic Workspace

Poor typing posture often causes problems for the back and wrists. In an article about setting up a telemedicine home office, virtual care company Wheel recommends setting up your table and chair at the correct height to prevent straining your back. Though their advice is aimed at remote physicians, it can apply to any professional working remotely. It can also help to invest in an ergonomic mouse and keyboard to keep your wrists and hands supported.

Invest in Eye Protection

Staring at screens for too long can strain your eyes, leading to problems like headaches, dry eyes, and issues with your vision. Writers and programmers, who spend a lot of time working with small text, are especially vulnerable. Web developer Adrian Twarog recommends investing in blue light glasses, which can protect your eyes from the harmful light your devices emit. It can also help to view sites in dark mode or reduce the brightness.

Try Mindfulness Exercises

Mindfulness is the key to keeping your mind relaxed amidst stressful situations. Look into meditation apps or guided meditation channels on YouTube for clear instructions on meditation. If you want to blend mindfulness with physical activity, try tai chi or yoga. Since these activities boost the body’s production of endorphins, practicing mindfulness can help you manage remote work stresses, such as Zoom fatigue and burnout.

Protecting your health is just a matter of building good habits. Small lifestyle changes, such as eating right, increasing physical activity, and investing in preventative tools, can keep your body and mind healthy as you work from home.

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