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10 Tips for a Healthy Home Work Environment

24 January 2022

Working from home can be incredibly stressful. Not only do you have to get your work done, but being surrounded by your domestic environment can give rise to even more distractions and interruptions - and that's before we even mention the physical clutter and poor air quality.

But that doesn't mean you can't make some small behavioural tweaks to reduce risks to your health and improve your productivity. Here are 10 simple tips to help you create a healthier work environment in your home:

1. Set up an ergonomic workstation

Your first step is to set up an ergonomically correct workstation. It can be as simple as placing your chair at a certain angle, getting a comfortable keyboard and mouse, or setting up your desk so you can work standing up. You can find desks at various price ranges, so find one that fits in with your budget and has features you need.

The next step is to get a comfortable chair with adjustable back and arm supports. Avoid buying decorative chairs with a low back rest if you’re prone to having back or neck problems. Make sure when you sit down that you can relax and feel the support against your body.

2. Clean your office regularly

When it comes to home offices, physical clutter can cause a degree of mental clutter. A cluttered office gives rise to more interruptions because it's harder to concentrate as you're surrounded by all the mess. Make sure you clean your office at least once a week, or even better - twice. Not only will this help with your concentration, but it will keep you physically healthier too!

3. Get some fresh air

It's easy to forget about how important fresh air is to our health. Most of us spend a good portion of the day in a closed office and don't get enough fresh air. If you have windows, open them. If you don't have windows, install a fan or an air purifier.

4. Use the correct lighting for the task

The right lighting can help you get on with your work without straining your eyes and allow you to work in more comfortable conditions. If you have a task that’s difficult to do in low light conditions, move it to an area where there is sufficient light.

The same concept applies in dimly lit rooms or offices - add some extra artificial lighting. If your task requires a lot of light, use the desk lamp or use an adjustable lamp and rest it where you need it. And on that note...

5. Keep your eyes comfortable

Most of us stare at screens all day, so we need to make sure our eyes are in good shape too! Every 20 minutes or so, take a quick break to look away from your screen and look around the room instead.

6. Keep yourself hydrated

If you're finding it difficult to stay focused, there's a chance you might be dehydrated. We need fluids to sustain our bodies, so make sure you're drinking enough water throughout the day - those cups of tea or coffee don't count!  

7. Exercise at home

When we're hard at work, we tend to stay put at our desks for the whole day. Make sure you get up and move around every so often. Stand up, walk around your desk or do some stretching exercises. Just take a break from sitting to activate your muscles and joints.

8. Moderate your vices

What do you like to do for fun? Do you play video games every day after work? Do you drink alcohol every night to wind down from the day? If so, try cutting back a bit. You don't have to cut these things entirely, just limit how much you do of them to give your body a chance to recover. After all, too much excess can be detrimental to your health.

9. Keep your bedroom for sleeping

This is probably the most important component to having a healthy home office environment. With proper rest, our bodies can function at their best and get on with the business of the day. A good night's sleep allows our bodies to repair any damage from the day and also gives us energy for the next day. It's a lot easier to do great work if you're well-rested.

10. Maintain a healthy diet

While exercise is great, we also need to think about what we eat. Eating well gives you energy, prevents "brain fog" and helps you keep your focus on work. Eat the right kinds of foods throughout the day, such as fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. Try having a healthy breakfast to kick-start your day.

In summary: we can't achieve a healthy work environment by using ergonomic furniture alone. Keeping yourself hydrated, taking regular breaks, and making sure you have the right tools for the job keep your body and mind in good health. When you set up your home workspace for comfort and efficiency, it becomes an ideal place for maximising your productivity.

Keep these tips in mind and you'll have a healthier home office environment in no time!