Whether we call it wellness, well-being, health, or just not finishing the day with a stress headache and a neck ache that just one bottle of wine is not going to numb, WFH has somehow made the working day even more taxing. Who knew that if you removed the JIT school run, the frustrating commute, the infuriating dash for a parking space, the overbearing/ over-enthusiastic boss, then the working day would actually get more exhausting and stressful.
It turns out those lovely people in HR really do quite a lot to try and make our time in the office as pleasant as possible. Out of the sheer goodness of their hearts and nothing to do with productivity and stock price.
So what can we do to stay healthy? First off, a bottle of wine might not be helpful for well-being or productivity. Thankfully, a lot of the potential solutions are considerably more accessible and less arduous than other corners of the wellness industry.
Out of routine, stuck in one place, and tempted to overwork. It can be a pretty unpleasant cocktail.
- Try to set yourself a routine and stick to it. Some people find that writing it out on a planner or using reminders on your phone can be helpful.
- If at all possible, try not to work and sleep in the same space. Especially try and avoid sleeping when in Zoom meetings. ( Never a good look.)
- Where ever possible, limit blue light 2-3 hours before going to bed.
It can be helpful to try and create time and space that has nothing to do with work.
- Get dressed for work( at least from the waist up). Then, of course, change when you finish work.
- Carve out a space for work that you can walk away from at the end of the day. That doesn’t have to mean a different room or some next-level interior redesigning or digging out the tie-dyed throw from college.
- Reclaim your home at the end of the day-Repurposing the breakfast bar is fine, but packing away at the end of the day can help you switch off.
These sub-headings are beginning to sound like yoga for the monosyllabic. And a bit of yoga throughout the day might not be a bad thing. However, if that is not your scene, maybe try the appetizingly titled idea of ‘movement snacking’.
- Change positions regularly- we did not evolve to sit.
- Get up and actually move about every 40-60 mins. Seems like the much-maligned pariahs of the modern office, the smokers and the water cooler gossips had it right.
- Maybe even try some 'at desk exercises' to help alleviate common office strains.
- Or for the more energetic, there is a host of 'movement snacking' routines online. A veritable Tapas of activity.
While the wilting pot plant outside the office kitchen, the one everyone empties the dregs of their cup into, might not be very inspiring according to a study carried out at the University of Hyogo, plants in the office can help reduce stress.
There are several reasons why the corner office is so coveted. An appreciation of natural light is perhaps the most healthy of them. There is something slightly uplifting about natural light and a view. That is why channels live streaming views from windows have been one of this year's big things. Slightly, (read an awful lot) more scientifically, a study by a team from Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that office workers with greater light exposure slept better and had improved physical and mental well-being.
- Make sure your space is; comfortably and adequately lit.
- If possible, sit where you can at least see out of a window.
Eye strain can lead to a host of problems.
- If you have to squint to read, then perhaps change your font style, size, and spacing to one that is comfortable.
- Similarly, don’t blind yourself with an overly bright screen, adjust it to match your environment. There are a variety of screen protectors on the market that might be useful too.
- take regular breaks
- change your focus
The AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmology) suggests following the 20-20-20 rule( Look at something at least 20 feet away, for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.)
- Try to have your screen at slightly below eye level.
- Try and use a chair that supports your back(preferably with a lumbar support.)An ergonomic chair that helps you build good posture would be best.
- Armrests to support your arms.
- A seat base that is comfortable and supports your legs allowing them to be at 90 to your hips.
- If possible, alternate between postures, include standing in your repertoire. A standing workstation or perhaps walking around during phone calls.
Thankfully, we no longer need a drill sergeant on the verge of a coronary or a chiropractor who enjoys their job a little too much to help us with our everyday posture. There are a host of pretty affordable options from ergonomic office chairs, standing desks to monitor arms, and anti-fatigue standing mats all of which can help to reduce the chance of aches, pains, and days lost to sickness.
Lastly, if you have had a tough day, maybe do something to unwind or pick up the phone. These are just a few suggestions; find what works for you, take good care of yourselves and stay well.
Disclaimer - Obviously, this is not intended in any way meant to constitute medical advice and it is a good idea to check with your healthcare practitioner over any health concerns you may have. You understand and agree that EazeeChairs or any of its affiliate companies does Not Provide Medical Advice or Endorsements. No content on this site, should ever be used as a medical advice.