Working from Home and Its Impact on Health
Working from home is proven to be a more comfortable setup and lends several more benefits, including eliminating the need to travel to work and being safe from sickness or accidents. Nevertheless, a person who works from home can still endure injuries related to prolonged periods of working from home.
No matter how safe the home can be to work in, it is worth noting that its layout was never meant for the eight-hour grind. With this, remodeling a part of the house into a proper office is the wisest decision if such a structure is not yet available and you see yourself working from home in the long term.
Moreover, early detection is key to recovering quickly from these issues. If these are simply ignored, they usually worsen and are harder to treat. If you experience any of the following, learn about how you could treat or seek medical attention for them:
Wrist and Back Problems
Perhaps the most common areas people have pains in are the wrists and the neck down the hip due to extended periods of sitting in front of the computer. Long hours of inactivity and lack of healthy blood circulation cause our limbs and muscles to get weak, rendering us almost unable to perform any more strenuous tasks. It is also a leading cause of chronic weight gain and diabetes, much like that in people with sedentary lifestyles.
Many people overlook the early symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic back pain. If this numb or tingling discomfort in our wrists or back is not addressed immediately, it may require more invasive procedures to resolve. Early diagnosis and prevention can be done through exercises, compression gloves, or prescribed cortisone injections for the wrists. In some cases, people can book sessions with a chiropractor for manual back adjustments. This helps patients correct their posture as well as ensure proper alignment.
Times like these elevate the importance of having an ergonomic workspace. You can make some enhancements by equipping it with an office chair that provides ample back support, a complementary lumbar backrest pillow that not only eases tension in the pelvic area but also keeps the shoulders and ears aligned, a table that is tall enough to keep our forearms rested flat, a keyboard with soft keys, an ergonomic mouse, and a computer monitor that’s set at a height aligned with our line of vision. Nevertheless, consciously correcting your sitting posture, and frequent stretching is key in preventing musculoskeletal issues.
In our younger years, we could stand facing the PC screen for hours with no rest. Now that we are older, we may feel a hint of a headache and even blurry vision. We can’t help but squint our eyes when we are not even halfway through the workday.
Many employees, working from home or not, find themselves seeking prescription glasses or upgrading the lens grade of their eyeglasses. This is due to the fact that almost all business transactions and meetings had to be conducted online. While we are uncertain as to when we can transition to the old office setup, there are several easy ways we can care for our eyes.
Every 20 minutes, look at least 20 feet away from your position for 20 seconds. This is the 20-20-20 rule that eye doctors often recommend to their patients. Another thing you can do is use glasses that screen blue light, which devices with display screens tend to emit. Of course, the most relaxing activity for your eyes is taking a pause to go outside or look out the window to observe nature (or the view).
Mental Health Issues
Besides the office and the home practically becoming one place, working from home sure has time-warping effects, making it a challenge to log off from work. While it allows for on-time meals, some cannot resist the temptation to snack unhealthily and eat while working. These are just some factors that lead to losing a sense of control over one’s routine. On the other hand, some still haven’t fully adjusted to working away from their colleagues, which exacerbates preexisting anxious and depressive tendencies.
The help of mental health experts can never be discounted, especially during this unusual time. However, individuals can start by themselves in simple but effective steps to recover that sense of control they have lost. One way is by sticking to a pre-work routine that includes fixing the bed, drinking water, showering, and eating breakfast. It would be best to allow ample time for chores, such as cleaning, laundry, and preparing meals. Also, it is crucial to keep in touch with colleagues outside of work.
Every part of our body is an irreplaceable asset that helps us perform our daily tasks. We should care for it much more than our gadgets and other possessions. There are damages that could heal on their own, but we should be mindful of those that may have irreversible effects on our body’s vital functions.