Tips for Mental & Physical Fitness While Working From Home
A lot of us have been working from home for more than a year now, and are likely to continue that for the foreseeable future. We have been really lucky to keep our jobs and yet be relatively safe from the virus.
However, work from home can take its toll on your health in ways that you are totally oblivious of. It can dangerously impact both your physical and mental health.It is very important that you take the necessary precautions.
Read on to find out how work from home can affect your physical and mental health. Follow the tips to overcome the risks and maintain your physical fitness. Learn about mental health awareness while working from home.
How Work From Home Affects Physical Health
Work from home deprives you of basic physical activity: For example, you don’t have to walk to the bus/metro station, or the auto stand anymore. You don’t have to stand and wait for the bus, cab or auto. You don’t have to climb stairs. You have to walk fewer steps at home to get your coffee or use the restroom than you have to at the office. All in all, a life that was already sedentary with desk jobs at the office, has become even more so because of work from home.
Work from home means more opportunities to eat: When you work from the office, you don't have access to food all the time. Of course, you might occasionally try out some snacks in the cafeteria. But since that can get monotonous sooner than later, you most likely abstain from eating them or eat very little. On the contrary, when you spend all your time at home, you have unlimited access to your kitchen and you are tempted to try out all those recipes you see on social media (think of avocado toast or dalgona coffee). As a result, most people are overeating and eating junk food at that.
Work from home may mean longer working hours: Since there is usually no limit on how many hours you can work when you work from home, it has been widely reported that people are working longer hours than they would if they worked from the office. Sitting for long hours can lead to weight gain (especially around the waist), along with neck pain, back pain and even knee pain. The cumulative effect of inactivity, overeating and sitting for long hours can take a toll on your metabolism, resulting in high blood sugar and high blood pressure. Even if you did not have any comorbidities before the pandemic, you might have developed them as a result of work from home during the last year. If not controlled, blood pressure and blood sugar can result in serious complications and eventually reduce life expectancy. Lack of physical activity can also result in osteoporosis.
How to Be Physical Fit While Working From Home
Follow the simple advice that we keep hearing — eat healthy and be physically active. Aim at getting at least an hour of physical activity every day. Here are some tips:
Do your household chores yourself.
Don’t miss your daily dose of yoga, or the treadmill.
You can also walk on the terrace or the street, if possible.
If nothing else, walk around the house for 30 to 45 minutes. Or do stationary jogging, jumping jacks and burpees.
You can use resistance bands at home if you are missing the gym.
Do Zumba. There are plenty of simple Zumba videos on YouTube.
Pretend you are in the office and walk 100 steps each time you want coffee or want to use the restroom.
Get up from your workstation every 15 minutes and walk around for a couple of minutes.
Take frequent stretch breaks while working.
Keep weights by your desk and take dumbbell breaks.
Eat a balanced diet, eat in moderation.
Stay away from refined carbs and junk food.
Don’t watch junk food recipes on social media.
Monitor your BP and blood glucose, and make sure they are in control.
How Work From Home Affects Mental Health
Apart from affecting your physical fitness in unsuspecting ways, work from home can take a heavy toll on your mental health. Keep these issues in mind for your mental health awareness.
Working for long hours can be tiring and stressful.
Video calls can cause both mental and visual fatigue.
Lack of physical connection with coworkers can get on your nerves. People may feel lonely without that daily dose of fun with colleagues in the cafeteria.
Concerns about keeping your job or career development during the pandemic can be worrisome.
Domestic problems with spouse/family or other relationship issues can get compounded when you are available at home 24/7. Kids can get in your hair.
Stay at home protocols deprive you of social life, parties, cinema, eating out, travel, vacations.
How to Be Mentally Strong While Working From Home
We are facing an unprecedented risk to mental health because of work from home, and unless we have this mental health awareness and do something about it, things can go out of control. As they say, a sound mind in a sound body. So, if you follow the tips mentioned above to maintain your physical fitness while working from home, that will also help you with mental fitness. Apart from that, here are a few specific tips on how to be mentally strong.
Follow a schedule for working, eating, and other chores.
Be punctual with work hours and allocate a fixed number of hours for work.
Request your manager to keep video calls short if possible.
Have virtual coffee breaks to catch up with laughs with your coworkers. Have virtual lunches.
Coordinate with your family to match your work schedules, so that you can have some family time after you wrap up work. You and your spouse can also work in shifts if that is more convenient in specific situations.
Eat on time and sleep on time.
Listen to music, do meditation and do breathing exercises.
Go on long drives (if possible) to make up for travel deprivation.
Have virtual parties with friends.
Watch shows on OTT channels, and YouTube videos. You can host watch parties and stream movies with friends.
Now that you are saving time on the commute to work, pursue that hobby that you never had time for.
18 May 2021 | 98 Views