Since the first COVID-19 lockdown, the number of people working from home has increased. Many companies are now continuing to allow home working, either permanently or as part of a hybrid working model.
This is great news for those who have enjoyed a better work-life balance over the last 18 months but it can have an impact on your health and activity levels.
Going to work rather than working from home often means you’re more active. Whether your commute includes some walking, you’d go out on your lunch break or you’d stop off at the gym after your workday. Working from home removes this activity.
So how can you stay active and healthy when working from home?
It can be easy to wake up just before you’re due to start work, roll out of bed and turn on your computer but this isn’t great for your activity levels. Establish a routine where you get up earlier and take some exercise at certain times to help you stay active.
You could get up and go for a walk before work to replace your commute and make sure you eat a healthy breakfast. If you aren’t great with early mornings, take your exercise on your lunch break or after work to avoid going from your home office to your sofa.
It’s also important to start and stop working at set times and to establish boundaries to make sure you aren’t working more than you should be.
It can be easy to work through your breaks or to eat your lunch at your desk but this isn’t great for your routine or your stress levels.
Make sure you’re taking your breaks by blocking them out in your calendar and leave your workspace when you do. A change of scenery will help you feel less stressed while getting away from your screen can help with your productivity.
If you can, try to spend some of your breaks outside, even if this means simply grabbing a coffee in the garden.
You don’t need a full gym but getting basic exercise equipment can make a big difference. Whether it’s a treadmill, yoga ball, exercise bike or some weights, having equipment nearby can help you fit in exercise as and when it suits you throughout the day.
In some cases, you can use your equipment while working, such as walking on a treadmill while you’re taking work calls. Just be sure that the equipment you buy is something you will use and that you have enough space for.
One downside to working from home is that you’re a lot closer to your kitchen, which means you may be more tempted to snack throughout the day.
Making sure you have three healthy meals throughout the day and that you stay hydrated can help you feel full so you don’t snack. However, stress or boredom can make it tempting to snack. So try to get into the habit of drinking water instead or avoid buying unhealthy snacks.
Stocking your kitchen with fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and other healthy snacks will mean that when you do want something else to eat, you aren’t reaching for high-calorie options. You should also avoid keeping snacks on your desk as this will be more tempting.
Whether you’re working from home or in the office, having a bad posture can lead to back pain and long-term discomfort. It’s important to invest in a suitable desk chair and make sure your workspace is set up so you can reach everything while sitting with a good posture.
It may also be worth investing in a sit-stand desk if you’re going to be working from home permanently. This allows you to go from sitting to standing easily so you can stretch regularly and avoid slouching.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so you need to make sure you’re looking after it.
Working from home can be isolating, which can leave you feeling low. While virtual meetings can help, they are not a substitute for face-to-face time, so make sure you book regular in-person meetings or catch-ups with friends and family in person away from your home.
If you're concerned about symptoms you're experiencing or require further information on the subject, talk to a GP or see an expert consultant at your local Spire hospital.
Niched in the care sector, Cahoot Care Marketing offers a full range of marketing services for care businesses including: SEO, social media, websites and video marketing, specialising in copywriting and content marketing.
Over the last five years Cahoot Care Marketing has built an experienced team of writers and editors, with broad and deep expertise on a range of care topics. They provide a responsive, efficient and comprehensive service, ensuring content is on brand and in line with relevant medical guidelines.
Their writers and editors include care sector workers, healthcare copywriting specialists and NHS trainers, who thoroughly research all topics using reputable sources including the NHS, NICE, relevant Royal Colleges and medical associations.
The Spire Content Hub project was managed by:
Lux Fatimathas, Editor and Project Manager
Lux has a BSc(Hons) in Neuroscience from UCL, a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and experience as a postdoctoral researcher in developmental biology. She has a clear and extensive understanding of the biological and medical sciences. Having worked in scientific publishing for BioMed Central and as a writer for the UK’s Medical Research Council and the National University of Singapore, she is able to clearly communicate complex concepts.
Catriona Shaw, Lead Editor
Catriona has an English degree from the University of Southampton and more than 12 years’ experience copy editing across a range of complex topics. She works with a diverse team of writers to create clear and compelling copy to educate and inform.
Alfie Jones, Director — Cahoot Care Marketing
Alfie has a creative writing degree from UCF and initially worked as a carer before supporting his family’s care training business with copywriting and general marketing. He has worked in content marketing and the care sector for over 10 years and overseen a diverse range of care content projects, building a strong team of specialist writers and marketing creatives after founding Cahoot in 2016.