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By: Jackie Edwards 

June 7, 2018 

 

Can working from home be bad for your health? It doesn't have to be.

Being able to work from home is the dream, right? Well, according to a report published by the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO), it may not be all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, the report entitled “Working anytime, anywhere: The effects on the world of work” found that 42% of remote workers had insomnia and 41% were stressed out compared to just 29% and 25%, respectively, of office workers. Couple this with all the other health risks typically found in the average workspace and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, you can do a couple of things to fix this.

Stick to a schedule

Just because you’ve decided to work remotely does not mean you no longer need to follow a specific work schedule. Sure, being able to complete tasks whenever and wherever you want may be fun at first, but it’s a great way to lose track of time. Before you know it, you’ll either be working too many hours or letting work interfere with your personal time. By deciding on official office hours as a remote worker, you not only create the habit of being productive at specific times each day, but, more importantly, force yourself to rest or do something you’re passionate about—which are both great ways to destress and keep yourself motivated.

Take frequent breaks

One of the biggest problems with working at an office is that you are forced to sit all day, which is one of the unhealthiest things you could do according to a CNN report by Susan Scutti. As it turns out, spending the majority of your day in a chair could increase your risk of early death even if you exercise regularly. The solution: stand up and move around every half hour. It might sound simple, but it’s actually not that easy to do in an office setting without looking like you’re wasting time. Fortunately, you have total control over how you spend your time as a remote worker, so you could easily work regular stand-up breaks into your schedule. You could even use some sort of pomodoro timer to help you remember.

Don’t forget fitness and nutrition

The great thing about working from home is that, contrary to what the ILO report says, it can actually be extremely conducive to health and fitness. Think about it. You could easily use the time you save from not having to commute to and from work to finally start exercising. And you don’t even have to go to a gym or buy any equipment to do it. There are a lot of no-equipment full-body workouts that you can do instead. And since you also have total control over your meals as a remote worker, you can easily supplement your training with quality nutrition and supercharge your progress.

The bottom line: working from home doesn’t have to be unhealthy

It can be, but you have to power to change it. In fact, with a little discipline and creativity, you should be able to use all the freedom and free time that come with working from home to not only become healthier, but also happier. At the end of the day, you get to decide how rewarding you want the whole experience to be.