Three work-from-home essentials that could keep you in optimal health
With many professionals suddenly switching to working from home full time earlier this year, finding ways to optimize this new reality amidst changed schedules and new distractions can be challenging.
In theory, working from the comfort of your own home should make things easier — no exhausting commutes, no uncomfortable office attire and yes — no 4 PM energy slumps having you reaching out for your secret drawer chocolate bar stash, again.
So, why do we then find ourselves feeling just as (if not more) tired at the end of another ‘office’ day while working in our favorite frumpy pajamas at our dining table or on the couch?
The truth is, being at home makes it incredibly easy for us to lose track of time, neglect healthy routines and be lured by endless distractions (just one episode of your favorite show on Netflix, anyone?).
Although in our pre-pandemic lives we would spend most of our working days at our office desk anyway; there would still be more opportunities for us to walk to a meeting room, to the water cooler or to take a quick stroll down to the office complex shops to take a breath of fresh air and….ahem….grab a small size candy bar for an innocent pick-me-up?
Read on to learn about three items that you should consider buying to make working from home that extra notch more comfortable — and potentially better for your long-term health:
1. Blue light-blocking glasses
While our eyes (and brains) need sufficient exposure to natural light to function optimally, it has been said that too much exposure to artificial blue light emanating from our electronic devices suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone responsible for healthy sleep cycles.
Although this is a relatively new product on the market, the early adopters will tell you that using blue light blocking glasses while working in front of a computer screen or on your mobile phone may reduce the strain on your eyes and help you feel less tired at the end of the working day.
Whether you believe that this new eye-protection technology would be helpful or not, it may be worth investing a few dollars and trying them out for yourself. After all, who doesn’t want to have more restful, body and soul replenishing sleep every night?
2. A yoga ball
Also known as Swiss ball or stability ball among health and fitness enthusiasts, this anti-burst vinyl globe could bring you more benefits than just help you build JLo-type chiseled abs — as if that alone wouldn’t be enough.
As with the blue light glasses, opinions are divided when it comes to the benefits of ‘active sitting’. Some health professionals claim that this type of forced body posture can cause more harm than good in the longer term, forcing our bodies to feel unnecessary strain in our lower back and core.
Others, however, tout the benefits of engaging the core, buttocks and legs — which wouldn’t normally be engaged at such intensity, were we sitting on a regular chair — at least in short intervals. Additionally, sitting on a yoga ball forces us to keep our back erect and our neck straight. This, admittedly, is the most often stated concern among desk workers.
Sitting on a yoga ball may not be a magic solution for all physical issues associated with a desk job, but it can certainly be an inexpensive tool which you can use to keep your whole body more active and engaged throughout the day.
Finally, if sitting on a rubber ball really isn’t your thing, try working at a standing desk instead.
3. Lemons, berries and cucumbers
If you’ve made it this far into the article, you were probably expecting to now be informed about yet another cool new tool, object or a gadget that would make your days at the home office more comfortable.
Lemons, berries and cucumbers aren’t gadgets per se but, if I were you, I would make sure I always have some of these in my kitchen. Why so?
Because, many of us are perennially guilty of not drinking enough water throughout the day. Try as you might, water simply doesn’t taste as good as coffee, tea (with milk and sugar, perhaps), a soft drink or a ‘healthy’ fruit juice. We all know we should be drinking more water but, try as we might, sometimes it just tastes like…not much at all.
This is where these fresh-tasting, fresh-smelling fruits and vegetables come to the rescue. The next time you are getting ready to get grinding, quickly chop up the good stuff, throw it into your filtered water jug, get down to work and when you’re ready to take a break and have a sip….voila! You are guaranteed to not only be refreshed but also pleasantly surprised. You might find you won’t be craving that 4 PM shot of sugar after all.
So, to wrap it all up — no situation is perfect and working from home does come with its own set of challenges. But, with the ‘new normal’ not being so new anymore, we need to keep adjusting to these circumstances accordingly.
When next Monday comes around, walk up to your laptop in style (by wearing your best luxury pajamas), seat yourself comfortably onto the new colorful yoga ball, slip on the blue light glasses that will have you sleeping like a newborn and, of course — happy working!