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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

10 Health Tips for Remote Workers


Those fantasies of working on the beach while sipping on a cocktail or getting your job done while wearing your pajamas are no longer the impossible dream. As remote working continues to grow in popularity, however, telecommuters are finding the reality is not quite so luxurious. It’s much easier to slip into a detrimental routine when there is no one else around, especially when your workstation is not approved by safety regulations and your in-person social interaction plummets.

Do not dampen the joys of remote working by neglecting your health! Check out these 10 essential tips to take care of yourself as you explore the exciting technological benefits of the modern-day world.

1. Organize Your Workspace
When visiting unfamiliar territories, your workspace may not always be ideal for extended periods of computer usage, which can cause many physical concerns. Always ensure that the lighting is adequate, your feet sit flat upon the floor, your eyes are in line with the top of your monitor, and your arms are bent comfortably at a 90-degree angle for typing. Set frequent reminders to drink water and check your posture. If at any point your body gives the slightest indication of pain, you need to rethink your positioning.

2. Take Hourly Breaks
While the lack of office distractions may seem like a godsend to some professionals, it does mean that the hours can fly by with your eyes glued forward and your legs frozen in place. Take a break for 5 - 10 minutes every hour to prevent backaches, headaches, weight gain, and strained vision.

3. Stretch Regularly
One of the biggest concerns for all computer users is that of a repetitive strain injury which can bring your work schedule to an abrupt (and painful!) halt. Use your hourly breaks to stretch out your arms, legs, and spine, while considering a brief home yoga session after each day comes to an end.

4. Keep up with the Exercise
Simply put, the more time you dedicate to physical fitness, the less prone to injury you will be. Go for daily walks, design a quick home cardio program, find a local gym, attend yoga classes, cycle around the block, go for nature hikes… the list is not only endless but can also be a lot of fun!

5. Treat Your Wrists With Care
In times of any wrist discomfort like you find with carpal tunnel, do not push through the pain. Rather rest for a few days otherwise you may severely damage your ligaments, resulting in an even longer period away from work. You should also prevent further injury by strapping on a wrist brace, stretching your hands in warm water, or speaking to a medical professional.

6. Explore the Outside World
Cabin fever is a term used to describe the irritability, restlessness, and boredom one feels when stuck between the same four walls for too long. Your best defense to go outside for any reason, whether it be a quick visit to the shop, lunch somewhere new, or the joy of simply breathing in some fresh air. The change of scenery will do wonders for your productivity too.

7. Utilize Dictation Software
If you are recovering from any previous physical stress, you should consider moving towards a more speech-oriented system like Dragon Dictation. It may take some practice to navigate that strange feeling of talking to a computer, but after a while, you should find your notes flowing much faster while your wrists relax.

8. Don’t Forget to Eat Properly
When you’re elbow deep in a problem far away from your familiar work environment, it’s easy to fall into bad habits of junky snacks and fast food meals. Rather start your day with a healthy breakfast and a multivitamin supplement while trading the chips and cookies for fruit and hummus. If you’re off to a foreign country, try your best to get accommodation with kitchen facilities included and cook at least one meal yourself a day.

9. Hydrate Continuously
Without proper water consumption you can easily lose energy and strength, hence why even a short bout of dehydration will affect your mood, your focus, and the performance of your entire body. This is easily addressed by permanently keeping a water bottle on your desk, allowing your brain to reach for hydration automatically without you even realizing it.

10. Be Careful of Isolation
Some peace and quiet may often be desirable, but try to avoid excessive seclusion as it can drive you into deep loneliness or even depression. Request video chats with clients for a small amount of relief and force yourself to socialize once every week.

This is a guest blog entry.

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