An Overview Of Work-From-Home Health Problems and Prevention Measures
By Tom Seest
Working from home can bring unpredicted stresses and health problems that can inhibit a person’s ability to grow in their career and business. While office workers tend to power through these stresses, someone operating on their own hours can begin avoiding work due to health problems rather than fixing the issue and continuing to work toward their success.
Many people try to brush off these problems, which leads to days when they prevent you from working and earning money or putting your best foot forward as a leader, so it directly impacts your goals and progress.
This photo was taken by cottonbro studio and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-blue-crew-neck-t-shirt-and-black-shorts-standing-on-brown-wooden-floor-4325450/.
Table Of Contents
- How to Get Up And Move Around When Working From Home
- How to Schedule Daily Walks When Working From Home
- How to Use a Standing Desk When Working From Home
- How to Use an Exercise Ball When Working From Home
- How to Schedule Standing Periods When Working From Home
- How to Avoid Loneliness and Depression When Working From Home
- How to Host a Game or Movie Night When Working From Home
- How to Find a Club or Group to Join When Working From Home
- How to Volunteer When Working From Home
- How to Go to a Party or Club When Working From Home
- How to Take a Walk Somewhere Public When Working From Home
- How to Reach Out to a Friend When Working From Home
- How to Avoid Vitamin D Deficiency When Working From Home
- How to Work Outside When Working From Home
- How to Take in Information on Outdoor Walks When Working From Home
- How to Maximize Vitamin D Levels When Working From Home
- How To Take Phone Calls Outside When Working From Home
- How to Set Up A Desk By an Open Window When Working From Home
- How to Avoid Injuries and Chronic Pain from Computer Use
- How to Avoid Back Pain When Working From Home
- How to Avoid Wrist Pain When Working From Home
- How to Avoid Tech Neck When Working From Home
- How to Avoid Exhaustion from Working Too Much When Working From Home
- How to Schedule Hourly Breaks When Working From Home
- How to Take a Lunch Break When Working From Home
- How to Take Days Off When Working From Home
- How to Specify a Quitting Time When Working From Home
- How to Turn Off Work Devices After Work Hours When Working From Home
Sitting disease occurs when your body is faced with a lack of activity, like sitting for too long. This causes chronic pain all throughout your body. This could also cause increased blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, and high blood sugar.
When your body is forced to sit for long hours each day, it can stiffen and lead to many other issues. It’s not natural for a body to stay in one position for too long, which is why some form of activity is required to stretch out your body and get your heart pumping a little bit.
Experts are saying this disease is now shaving off up to two years of a person’s life expectancy, if not longer, and it’s especially affecting vulnerable senior citizens (of which there are many in the online entrepreneurial world) who don’t stay physically active.
What follows are some different methods to try in order to prevent sitting disease.
This photo was taken by cottonbro studio and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-in-black-sweater-sitting-on-brown-wooden-chair-4100669/.
Taking short walks every day will improve both your physical and mental health. Taking a walk after you have been sitting for a long period will help to elongate your spine and stretch your legs out.
You can also take this time to clear your mind and take a break from all of your hard work. Both your body and your brain deserve a break from time to time. If you feel like you don’t have time for a walking break, choose to dictate on your phone as you walk or listen to a podcast or YouTube tutorial so that your time is spent on your business.
This photo was taken by cottonbro studio and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-in-black-sweater-sitting-on-brown-wooden-chair-4100670/.
Having a desk that comes with adjustable height gives you a chance to balance the stress placed on your body. You can stand at your desk for a few hours, take a lunch break, and then move the desk down and sit for a while.
Some people find that they enjoy standing and working more than sitting, so it’s up to you to find a split that works best for your body. Having a height-adjustable desk will let you alternate it in a way that serves your body well.
This photo was taken by Vlada Karpovich and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/picnic-on-the-grassland-8629738/.
If you need to sit in order to focus fully, you may want to try purchasing an exercise ball. You can sit on a plain exercise ball, or you can also purchase a chair that is made to fit one.
Either way, this method allows you to move around while working instead of sitting idly in the same position for hours. This is helpful for all of your joints, but it especially eases the strain on your spine.
This photo was taken by Yaroslav Shuraev and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-white-tank-top-sitting-on-couch-8844400/.
If you aren’t feeling energized enough for a walk outside or at your gym on a treadmill, it’s perfectly okay to start out by taking breaks just to stand or walk around your home. Set a timer while you work so that you can take scheduled breaks.
It’s recommended to take a short break just to stretch or stand every 30 to 60 minutes. It’s important to put forth effort in order to avoid the consequences of sitting disease. Just keeping a simple schedule in order to move your body is essential and will help your work ethic to improve as well.
This photo was taken by KoolShooters and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-black-tank-top-and-black-shorts-running-on-concrete-steps-8520628/.
When you work at home, you lose the socialization that colleagues and in-office work bring you. Without putting forth the effort to become more social outside of work, it is easy to become completely isolated.
Isolation can cause loneliness and make one feel a lack of purpose. Those negative feelings often lead to depression. Depression negatively impacts the way you think, feel, and act.
It has a way of taking over one’s life since it controls decisions and the thought processes behind them. Depression can lead to loss of interest, feeling worthless, loss of energy, and a continuation into isolation.
The side effects of depression can take over your life and career. It’s important to fight depression so that you don’t lose sight of who you are and your purpose and goals in life.
Keeping people in your life is a great way to fight becoming isolated and falling into feelings of depression. Listed next are some different ways to make sure you push back against complete isolation so that you and your business can thrive.
This photo was taken by Ron Lach and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-applying-face-cream-8154381/.
Hosting a fun night for your friends puts you in charge of the evening. So if your social battery isn’t as big as it used to be, you can plan for a short, fun evening. Even if your friends can’t make it, you can use this event as a night to socialize with your family.
If you are itching to leave the house, you could plan to go to a restaurant or movie theater. This way, you won’t break the bank but get to experience a night out with the people close to you.
This photo was taken by Marcus Aurelius and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-practicing-yoga-6787217/.
Making friends can be difficult as you get older, especially if you don’t have work friends to lean on. Joining a club or other group that meets frequently is a great way to build some friendships and meet new people.
It will be easier to bond with the people participating since you will already have one thing in common. There are book clubs or meet-up groups you can sort through to find common passions.
This photo was taken by Artem Podrez and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-woman-looking-through-microscope-5726706/.
Volunteering is a great activity because it brings socialization, helps others, and makes you feel good about yourself. Helping other people is a great thing to do and will often bring you to kind people with a similar mindset.
You can choose to engage in group volunteer projects, such as Habitat for Humanity, where you and a group of others will be building a home for someone under the guidance of professionals.
This photo was taken by Noelle Otto and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/two-assorted-pies-on-table-3602269/.
Everyone needs a night out every once in a while. If large groups of people are your scene, then a club is the perfect place to go. You can go with friends or brave the crowd alone and make new friends on the dance floor.
As long as you are responsible and pace yourself, it could turn out to be a great time. You might even choose to go to a comedy club where you’ll likely be placed at a table with others, and you can enjoy camaraderie before and between sets.
This photo was taken by Yan Krukau and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-pregnant-woman-meditating-at-home-7155545/.
Going to a local park for a simple walk is a great way to place yourself around people without actually having to talk to anyone. You can get some fresh air, possibly make small talk with a few people, and enjoy getting your body moving.
If you prefer, join a gym and sign up for group fitness classes. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned fitness enthusiast, there will be classes full of people you can meet and befriend for get-togethers outside of the gym.
This photo was taken by cottonbro studio and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-girl-morning-reflection-4046314/.
If you don’t have the time to go out or don’t feel ready to do that yet, social media is a great option. You could call or text a friend just to catch up and check in on each other. If you don’t have anyone close to reaching out to, you could try messaging someone you are mutual with on social media and try to build a friendship.
It can seem intimidating at first, but you may find a lot of new opportunities that way. There are even apps where, instead of being matched for relationships where you’re dating, you’re matched for friends instead!
This photo was taken by cottonbro studio and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-black-long-sleeve-shirt-sitting-on-brown-wooden-chair-4098368/.
Vitamin D mainly comes from natural sunlight and is known to help with bone growth and strength, may help reduce cancer cell growth and control infections. Essentially, vitamin D is crucial for a healthy body and mind.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include fatigue, muscle pain and weakness, and depression. When you work at home, you may not go outside enough, so you aren’t receiving the crucial amount of sunlight that you need in order to get enough vitamin D in your system.
Summarized next are some ways to balance your work while also getting enough vitamin D in your system.
This photo was taken by cottonbro studio and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-black-sports-bra-and-black-leggings-doing-yoga-4324017/.
If you have a porch that receives sunlight or some chairs to sit on, you can set your laptop up on a nice day and get some work done. As long as there aren’t too many distractions, the breeze and warm sun can be relaxing during a stressful work day.
This photo was taken by Mikhail Nilov and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/painting-of-a-boxer-on-wall-6739947/.
If you have a meeting where you just need to listen, you could put on some headphones and go for a walk. This can work with informational podcasts or audiobooks. Exercising your body will help open your mind up and will motivate you to take in the information and work hard when you return home to your workspace.
This photo was taken by Tima Miroshnichenko and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-white-jacket-holding-mobile-phone-8376168/.
You can purchase nutritional supplements that contain vitamin D to directly boost the amount in your system. It may not be enough to completely remove a deficiency, so it is recommended that you consider other options as well.
Make sure you’re using the Vitamin D-3 version so that you absorb more of it into your body. You never want to just start taking supplements until you know your current levels and get a doctor’s recommendation for how much you should be taking each day.
This photo was taken by Artem Podrez and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-close-up-view-of-a-covid-19-vaccine-vial-on-blue-background-5878503/.
As long as your surroundings will not be too distracting or loud, you could try taking some of your phone calls outside. This is a great way of making sure that you get at least 15-20 minutes of sunlight each day.
You can plan for one phone call every day to be an outside call so that you are always outside for at least a small amount of time. Make sure you go when the sun is at its strongest so that your body can soak in as much vitamin D as possible.
This photo was taken by Artem Podrez and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-man-and-a-woman-holding-a-test-tube-5726837/.
Ultraviolet lights cannot pierce through glass, so you will have to actually open up your window for this method to work. But you can still remain bug-free with a screen on your window.
This also allows you to remain in the comfort of your home with air conditioning or a fan and your workspace set up. You don’t need to be there for long to get the benefits of sunshine.
This photo was taken by Polina Tankilevitch and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-granola-on-bowl-3872437/.
The repetitive motions that occur when using a computer can strain a body and cause injuries and different forms of chronic pain. With each injury, different precautions should be taken to prevent these injuries or quickly help them heal.
This photo was taken by MART PRODUCTION and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-woman-technology-computer-7089015/.
Poor posture and bad furniture designs are the main causes of back pains while Working From Home. To prevent this, make sure you have a comfortable chair that you end up sitting in.
Since you spend so many hours of the day sitting, it’s worth it to invest in a comfortable and sturdy ergonomic chair that will help you with your posture and prevent pains from arising. Also, check to make sure that your desk or table is at an appropriate height so that you don’t have to lean down just to type.
To repair back pains, try different stretches before and after work to help loosen up your body and rid yourself of the tension caused. You may want to consider seeing a professional if the back pains persist.
This photo was taken by MART PRODUCTION and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/technology-computer-head-health-7089020/.
Wrist pain occurs through the constant motion of typing and moving a mouse while working which can cause severe pains in the wrist and hand. To prevent this, your keyboard and mouse should be placed at elbow height so that your wrist can remain straight and relaxed.
You can also purchase mouse pads that are formed specifically for those who struggle with wrist pains. To repair existing wrist pain, there are different wrist exercises to try while your hand is idle that will help ease the pain.
You may also want to purchase a wrist brace and wear it when you know that your day is full of typing. There are also gadgets you can buy to prevent wrist pain, where you twist both ends of a piece of foam in different directions to stretch your muscles.
This photo was taken by MART PRODUCTION and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-woman-sitting-technology-7089401/.
Tech neck happens when you bend your neck to stare at your phone or computer screen for hours, and you can develop pain and stiffness in your neck from remaining in such an unnatural position.
To prevent it, make sure you are staring straight at your computer when you use it. You may have to adjust the height or find something to sit your laptop on so that you aren’t stuck in an unnatural position, and your neck can remain relaxed.
To repair existing tech neck, there are different exercises and even yoga positions that can be utilized to ease the tension and stiffness in your neck. If the pain persists, consider reaching out to a chiropractor.
This photo was taken by Anna Nekrashevich and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-s-face-with-four-skin-extractor-tools-6476083/.
With the freedom and flexibility that comes with remote work, it should be less likely for exhaustion from working too much to occur. But when you get to work on something you are passionate about and choose your own hours, some entrepreneurs will end up overworking themselves without even realizing it.
Some people who work from home live with the knowledge that there is no sure paycheck coming, especially at the beginning. So they will end up working themselves into the ground out of fear and stress, which will only lead to more stress and complete exhaustion.
And once they’ve reached that point, they can no longer be their best at work until they take a break. In order to prevent overworking yourself, try enforcing some methods that create boundaries with your work time.
Here are a few methods and boundaries to try:
This photo was taken by Anna Shvets and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/female-doctor-in-blue-scrub-suit-4586993/.
Taking a small break every 30 to 60 minutes is the recommended time for those who work at home. The break doesn’t have to be more than ten minutes. You can stand for a little bit, do some stretches, and maybe grab a drink and a snack in order to refuel yourself.
This photo was taken by Karolina Grabowska and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-view-of-human-dry-skin-4046564/.
When you work from home, it’s easy to just grab a sandwich and eat while you work. But it’s essential to give yourself a longer break in the middle of your work day. You can relax, refresh your mind, refuel completely, and take some time for yourself.
This provides a small restart in the middle of your day so that you are fresh and ready to jump right back into work when your lunch is made and gone. Your lunch break can be 20-60 minutes, giving you enough of a break to recharge your mental batteries.
This photo was taken by cottonbro studio and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/2-women-sitting-on-brown-wooden-chair-4101137/.
Although it may be easy to find yourself working every day of the week, since your desk may just be a room over from your bedroom, it’s important to set aside a couple of days off every week.
Working 40 hours a week is already a lot for a human’s mind and body to handle. Whether you prefer days off in a row or a few days spread throughout the week, you should schedule them out ahead of time so that you can commit to them.
This photo was taken by cottonbro studio and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-white-hijab-covering-her-face-with-white-textile-4113974/.
Even if you don’t prefer to work a typical 9-5 workday, you should still plan out a starting and stopping time for your workdays. This can be helpful since it sets a boundary for both those who procrastinate and those who overwork themselves.
Pick times that work best for you, which may depend on your family’s schedule, and your sleep schedule. Once you’ve planned a quitting time, stick to it so that you always know when to cut ties with your work.
This photo was taken by Betül Nur and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/clear-glass-jar-with-green-and-red-liquid-topped-with-strawberry-8134134/.
If you have a phone that you use specifically for work, make sure to turn that phone off when your work day is done. Otherwise, your work will continue to distract you throughout the evening when you should be focusing on your own personal time and those around you.
Work should not be around during all hours of the day. You can set a timer that snoozes all notifications from a certain email or app that is involved with your job so that it doesn’t draw your attention away when the workday is done.
Your work should be important to you, but so should the rest of your life. As entrepreneurs, your brand and business are going to be important to you, but you can’t let them take over your whole entire life.
Keeping boundaries will be important for your mental and physical health so that both you and your career can thrive. When you allow your health to slowly diminish, and you keep brushing it off as no big deal, it will eventually catch up with you and sideline you from your success.
There are all kinds of health problems you might encounter as an online entrepreneur. Most are a direct cause of not engaging in self-care. This is somewhat understandable because in order to survive on your own in business, you have to dedicate a lot of time and effort to succeeding.
If you’re also a parent to small children or a caregiver to your own parents, then you may have an extra burden on you that can lead to health issues that sabotage your success.
If you want to thrive with your business, make sure you visit your physician for a baseline of where your health is at so that you can see how it improves (or gets worse) over the course of your online career.
Take stock of both your physical and mental well-being. How long can you walk right now? Do you feel sad, anxious or depressed? Track your moods and fitness levels so that you can integrate a plan to improve on both of them as you build your business.
Never let your health and mental well-being be put on the back burner just so you can make money online. That income will be no good to you if you run yourself into the ground so much that you aren’t able to keep it afloat and grow in the near future.
Your health and happiness matter just as much, if not more, than your business success. Give it the attention it deserves, and your financial goals will be easier to meet because you’ll feel up to the task of working toward it.
This photo was taken by Mikhail Nilov and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-unrolling-a-yoga-mat-6740753/.