With more and more people working remotely, it’s important to ensure that we remain focussed in our new work environments. That said, preventing burnout and fatigue is equally important. When it comes to working from home, our lifestyles and habits need to complement the ergonomic furniture we invest in – otherwise it’s difficult to minimise injuries or perform optimally.
In this post, we’ll set out five healthy habits to adopt in order to boost output and improve your work day while at home.
Wondering how to set up your home office to be ergonomic-friendly? Be sure to follow this helpful guide.
These are the five healthy habits to adopt when working from home:
1) Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is the human ability to be fully present and aware of where we are and what we are doing. Although mindfulness is innate, it is something that we as humans often forget. Mindfulness is known to reduce stress and enhance performance; it draws our attention to our own and others’ well-being, and it makes us more aware of how we are feeling in any given moment.
In the context of work, mindfulness is important for understanding your body’s limitations and needs. For example, knowing when to get up and stretch or go for a walk. Activities to help practice mindfulness include meditation, short pauses we insert into everyday life and merging meditation into other activities like yoga or sports.
2) Balance your movement
Our bodies are designed to move. Non-moving postures all day, such as sitting or standing, can cause serious damage to our bodies even if we exercise. Sitting can be hard on your body as it requires muscular work which can result in pain, discomfort and fatigue. Similarly, standing for long periods at a time can also affect your body negatively. They key is to maintain a balance.
Standing every now and again is ideal. You can create your own standing work station or invest in a standing desk converter or sit-to-stand desk. This will help relieve stress on your back, improve circulation and help reduce muscle fatigue.
Looking for a cost effective solution? Check out the LapStand LEVIT8 which effortlessly transforms any ordinary desk into a sit-stand desk anytime and anywhere.
3) Take microbreaks
When focusing for a long period of time, you may in fact reach a point where productivity is reduced instead of amplified. A microbreak provides a small interruption to your focus which can ease your body and reboot your mind. It is – simply put – a short break you take from your work day. It could be a brief 2-minute conversation with a family member or a 5-minute walk around your garden or down the street.
TIP: Walking and moving is of course beneficial for all individuals but for those who cannot practice intermittent standing, it is even more vital. If this is the case, be sure to go for a five-minute walk every hour to help reduce posture fixity.
4) Perfect your posture
According to Dale Kennedy, Certified Professional Ergonomist at Ergomax, “Vision drives posture and posture is what is vital when thinking about protecting the body against unnecessary strain. Where your monitor is positioned in relation to how you are working is a vital consideration to prevent eyestrain and to make sure that you do not need to lean into the screen.”
Some tips for improving your posture include:
- Having your monitor eye-level, in front of you, and tilted slightly upwards (TIP: Browse our range of monitor trays)
- Ensuring your feet are supported (TIP: Use a footrest if your chair is not height adjustable)
- Keeping your knees slightly lower than your hips while seated
- Making sure your elbows are in line with the desk surface you are using
- Having adequate lumbar support to keep the pressure off your lower discs
Order your Accent certified-ergonomic office chair which comes with adjustable lumbar support and height adjustable arms.
5) Set boundaries between work and leisure
When working from home, it is easy for the lines between ‘work’ and ‘play’ to get blurred. That’s why it’s all the more important to create and inforce your own boundaries to avoid burnout. One helpful tip is knowing when to ‘tune out’. For example, avoid using technology or checking your emails before bed and be mindful of what you are doing in your break time.
A healthy use of this time may be learning a new skill, doing some light exercise or practicing some kind of self-care to ensure that you can perform at your best when break time ends.