The start of a New Year tends to bring health to the forefront of our collective minds, and after the last two years I think I am not alone in saying the subject of health has been both consuming and exhausting. Nonetheless, as most of us here at Texas Creative (as well as many of our colleagues, clients, and vendors) continue to learn to navigate a new normal of working remotely full time or on a hybrid schedule -- I feel it’s important to stop and assess how your behaviors can help keep you healthy, mentally and physically.
The most important element of this is to be sure your desk and chair are comfortable. If you struggle with pain from sitting, then try a standing desk or rotate between your office chair with a different seat like a kneeling chair or yoga ball.
Furthermore, this is your mental space for several hours each day, so don’t allow it to be just a computer on a desk! Add some personality and make it a fun place to be (I like to play my music loud or put on old movies as background noise). You don’t have officemates anymore - make it a personalized comfortable space.
In the office your food/drink options are limited, but at home you have the ability to curate your snacking options (I definitely drink less soda and coffee at home). Try healthier snacks like nuts, fruit, or snacking vegetables like carrot sticks, cucumber, or avocado.
As opposed to walking around an office all day, I can find myself sitting in the same position for hours. Take a short walk in the morning before work or during lunch a few days a week (you can take your phone with you signed into your communication platform so you are always reachable!). On other days, do a mid-day exercise break that I guarantee will help perk you up (resistance bands can be really helpful for quick no-fuss workouts).
Help Your Eyes
My eyes have definitely taken some time to adjust to work from home. The general rule is 20-20-20, which means 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away, every 20 minutes. If you can position your desk so that there’s a window or door within your field of vision it will give your eyes something far away to rest on, and you will probably achieve this goal without even realizing it. My desk faces the wall, so I have to remember to do it as often as possible.
Another point here is lighting. I find that dim lighting works best for my heavy computer use. My office was entirely too bright so we installed a UV film on my window and I immediately felt eye strain relief.
Use Your Vacation
I can’t say it any better than our company founder and president, Brian, so read his old blog from 2018 reminding you to use your vacation. While working from home you may be inclined to work sick because you no longer have to leave to go to an office, or maybe the pandemic kept you from planning a vacation so you just didn’t use your time. I am here to say use it, take a day to go to a park, or sit at home and read books or watch TV. Be sure you take breaks.
Here’s to a healthier year ahead for everyone!