Telecommuting is becoming increasingly popular—between 2005 and 2015, the number of people who work from home at least half of the time increased 115 percent. While there are many perks to working from home, like greater productivity (one study found a 13 percent increase in the performance of remote employees), being at home can result in less physical activity and more couch time. So what can you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you work remotely? These five tips will help you strike the right balance.
5 Ways To Stay Healthy When Working From Home
Set up reminders to move. Studies suggest that sitting is the new smoking. One simple way to stay active is to set up Reminders to Move on your Fitbit device. If you don’t have a Fitbit, consider setting up alerts on your phone or calendar to signal when you should get moving every hour. Bonus: Every time your movement reminder goes off, challenge yourself to walk to the kitchen and drink a glass of cold water; even mild dehydration can affect your energy levels and short-term memory.
Get dressed. Working in pajamas sounds ideal, but it might prevent you from doing any extra activity. Get dressed as soon as you wake up to help your mind adjust from sleep-mode to a work mentality.
Eat elsewhere. Just like beds are meant for sleeping, our desks are meant for working—not eating. Instead, consider eating your lunch in your backyard or at a nearby park to get some fresh air and a change of scenery.
Schedule work breaks. It can be tempting to stay glued to your computer to show your teammates you’re online, but don’t be afraid to take breaks. Consider organizing your workday to knock out the most important tasks first. Or try the Pomodoro Technique, a time-management tactic that breaks work into 25-minute intervals. During your break, take Fido for a walk, stretch, or squeeze in a quick workout. Bonus: Taking breaks from your screen may even boost productivity.
Close the computer. When working remotely, it may feel too easy to ignore the separation between professional and personal time, resulting in extra-long work days. Remember, your home “office” is also your personal space—a place for relaxation and a break from the outside world. It’s important to maintain a good work-life balance, so walk away from your computer after a solid eight-or-so-hour day.
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This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.