I came across this article for healthy working at home. It is quite interesting and makes good reading and tips for us virtual assistants working from home.
It is true that we don’t schedule in some things like breaks so take heed. There are some good tips here.
How to Stay Healthy While Working at Home
I know we are in the middle of our Share Your Voice series, however I wanted to sneak in a quick word about health for the home worker. The American government has released reports that the Swine Flu (H1N1) will be more rampant this year than the last, and in light of that we all need a reminder as to how we can stay healthy and productive throughout flu season and beyond.
Most at-home workers feel that they are immune from many of the health concerns that office workers face – we do not share a packed office floor, we do not need to ride in crowded trains, and we do not have to worry about shaking a lot of hands. But we are still at risk like everyone else, only unlike the office worker we don’t get paid sick days. Here are some easy to implement tips to staying healthy while working from home:
Police Your Snacks: What is your favorite thing to eat or drink while you write? Common responses I’ve heard over the years include everything from Cheetos to pizza to chocolate milk. While these tasty treats are emotionally pleasing, they do nothing but help you pack on pounds, increase your blood pressure and cholesterol, and deprive your body of the nutrients it should be getting from healthier food. I know, I know – I like my chips and dip as much as anyone else, but when you work from home all day do yourself a favor and police your snacks. Force yourself to stay out of the kitchen, or if the siren call is just too much then just don’t buy those things. While the first few days will be painful, you will notice a boost in energy, better sleeping, and more concentration when you’re not munching on Doritos all day!
Schedule in Exercise: Don’t leave exercise to whenever you feel like getting it done – do it first thing in the morning or at a regular time during the day. Exercise is so crucial for freelancers who sit in front of a computer all day because it not only helps us keep our weight in check but also provides energy boosts and encourages the production of white blood cells, those marvelous little things that fight off disease and keep you healthy.
Use Anti-Bacterial Products: Just because you’re not shaking hands all day doesn’t mean you don’t bring nasty, disease causing bacteria into your house and workplace. Help your body in the fight to stay healthy by frequently using Lysol on door handles, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, as well as washing your hands several times daily with anti-bacterial soaps and gels.
Sleep: One of the number one ways to weaken your immune system and make yourself susceptible to infection is by not getting enough sleep. Freelancers in particular are common victims to sleep deprivation because we get so involved in our projects and also need to work long hours to make ends meet. Insist that you get at least 7 hours of sleep a night to keep your body healthy and mind alert – while you may lose an hour or two of work you will gain several hours due to the productivity increase it will provide!
Take Breaks: Taking breaks not only helps you clear your head, but also helps keep your stress level in check. An overstressed mind manifests itself as a depressed immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to colds, flus, and a whole host of opportunistic infections. Take at least three 15 minute breaks throughout the work day, and be sure to get up and walk around away from your desk during these times.
Take Weekends: This goes hand in hand with the breaks idea – you need to manage your stress to keep your health at optimal levels and your productivity chugging away. A weekend can be defined as a pair of days during the week when you reduce your email-checking to under an hour. No writing, no blogging, no nothing. Just a little email and that’s it. It is best to have 2 days in a row, though whatever days you choose (sun/mon, wed/thurs) are at your discretion. They also don’t have to be the same two days every week, but just try to get a weekend in at some point each week. This is very important!