Working from home has many advantages, including greater autonomy, schedule flexibility, and higher earnings. But while working from home undoubtedly has its merits, it can also negatively impact your physical and mental well-being. This article will help you understand these challenges and offer simple, actionable solutions for you to overcome them.
How Remote Work Impacts Physical and Mental Health
The remote work experience has brought to light new challenges that affect both the body and the mind.
“How?” you ask.
Let’s take a closer look:
Since shifting to a remote work environment, many employees find themselves leading a more sedentary lifestyle. According to a survey by Upright Pose, 60% of employees admit cutting their mobility by over 50% since working remotely. That 16-step commute from bed to the workstation may be convenient, but it’s causing concern. Reduced mobility can lead to long-term physical health issues that are beginning to surface.
Isolation and disconnection from team members are also notable issues. A study by OnePoll revealed that seven in 10 employees who work from home feel more isolated compared to being in the office. This lack of interaction impacts not just how you feel socially, but also affects company culture and employee engagement.
While working from home has its perks, it also comes with some serious health risks. By keeping these obstacles in mind, you’ll be better prepared to make the adjustments to your home office routine.
Ways to Be More Active While Working Remotely
You might be feeling the strain of a sedentary lifestyle creeping into your daily routine, both physically and mentally. But don’t worry—there are easy, practical ways you can break free from the slump.
From quick stretches to mindfulness practices, here’s how you can add life and energy to your remote workday:
1. Alternate Sitting with Standing
Long hours in a chair can lead to discomfort and even long-term health issues. You can combat this by alternating between sitting and standing. If you don’t have a standing desk, you can substitute a countertop or a higher table. If you stand for 20 to 30 minutes per hour, you will feel less tired and stiff. It’s a straightforward approach to maintaining physical fitness.
2. Take Regular Short Walks in the Morning
A morning stroll is good for more than just weight loss. It’s also a great opportunity to mentally prepare for the day. Before digging into your duties, take a 10- to 15-minute stroll about the neighborhood or even the house to reawaken your senses and give yourself a moment of peace.
Consider it your new, health-boosting commute!
3. Schedule Your Workouts
Exercise shouldn’t be an afterthought. By adding it to your calendar like any other important appointment, you make it a priority. Design a functional fitness program that fits your needs. It can be a full workout or even quick 10-minute stretches. The key is consistency and commitment to your physical well-being.
4. Practice Mindfulness or Meditation
Amidst the hustle of work, mindfulness or meditation can be your refuge. Just a few minutes of deep breathing or guided meditation can help you center your thoughts and emotions. Apps and online videos are readily available to guide you. By incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine, you can improve your focus and foster a sense of inner peace.
5. Host a Virtual Workout Session
Why not turn exercise into a social event? Hosting or joining a virtual workout session with colleagues can be a fun way to rebuild employee engagement and keep everyone motivated. It can be as simple as a weekly yoga class or a group challenge to meet fitness goals. This not only promotes physical health but strengthens company culture as well.
6. Use Breaks for Quick Exercises
Breaks are more than just time to grab a snack. They’re opportunities to invigorate your body and mind. Whether it’s a set of jumping jacks or some light stretches, make the most of these moments. You’ll come back to your workstation feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle the next challenge.
7. Assign a Dedicated Exercise Space at Home
Having a specific space in your home dedicated to exercise can make a big difference in motivation. It doesn’t have to be a fully-equipped home gym. Even a small corner with a yoga mat or some free weights can do the trick. Decorate it with motivational quotes or pictures to inspire you.
Give these tips a try to discover a more balanced, vibrant, and productive remote work experience.
Remote work offers great opportunities, but it also comes with challenges. By now, you’ve seen that a sedentary lifestyle can take a toll on your physical health. Yet, with a few simple changes, you can promote better well-being, stay connected with your team, and enhance company culture and employee engagement.
Don’t let remote work confine you. Stand up, stretch, walk, and connect. After all, a healthy you is a more productive you.