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Three Simple Ways to Improve Your Physical Health When Working From Home

08 Oct. 2021

You’ve likely been made aware of ways to look after your mental health when working from home, but how can we improve our physical health? The pandemic has taken away some of the daily habits which help us to stay active, such as the commute to work or after-work sporting activities. 

Just because your working habits have changed doesn’t mean your physical health has to suffer as a result. Keeping active at home isn’t about doing an hour long Youtube workout every day. Instead, there are some simple changes you can make to your lifestyle to ensure your physical health isn’t neglected during this time.

Taking regular breaks

It’ll come as no surprise to anyone to find out that looking at a screen for extended periods of time can have many harmful effects on our bodies, particularly our eyes. In this way, time away from your screen at regular intervals is crucial to staying healthy at home. According to a recent YouGov poll, 49% of respondents noticed an increase in time spent looking at a screen since the start of the pandemic.

An increase in screen time can have many negative effects on the body, from eye strain to a disruption to our sleep cycles. To combat this, try experimenting with your computer’s settings, from adjusting the brightness to increasing font size to help reduce the strain on your eyes.

Experts also recommend applying the 20/20/20 rule to your daily routine. This rule dictates that for every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, you should focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. By taking these regular breaks, the strain on your eyes will be relieved, counteracting the negative effects of increased screen time.

Invest in ergonomic office furniture and equipment

One of the easiest ways to improve your physical health when working remotely is by buying an ergonomic chair and suitable desk conducive to maintaining a good posture. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a suitable chair is one with armrests, which also allows you to rest your feet on the floor with knees and hips at a 90° angle. Not only can this help to reduce back pain, but it also acts as a preventative measure against repetitive strain injuries, particularly in your elbows, wrists and neck.

Believe it or not, using a computer instead of a laptop can also help to maintain a healthy posture. Laptops seem the ideal piece of kit to allow us to work well remotely, as they can be used pretty much anywhere. However, what makes laptops an effective tool is also their downside.

The condensed keyboard and built-in mouse can encourage users to hunch forward, counteracting the benefits of an ergonomic chair. They can also encourage us to move around the house, potentially working in places less conducive to a good posture, such as in bed or on the sofa.

Separate your work and home life

According to a recent survey, almost a third of Brits (30%) have struggled to separate their work and home lives when working remotely, with a further 27% admitting they struggle to switch off after work.

Failing to distinguish between work and home life can have serious consequences on our physical health. Most notably, working later than usual can be detrimental to sleeping schedules, ultimately leading to a poorer quality of sleep.

Whilst it is tempting to wake up five minutes before the first meeting of the day and open the laptop from the comfort of your bed, these are not the optimal conditions for healthy remote working. Instead, try to implement and stick to a morning routine, which should involve waking up at a similar time, eating breakfast and perhaps even some exercise.


A walk in the morning or even during work hours can offer many benefits, including helping to improve circulation and reducing the risk of heart disease. Even a brief walk around the block could also help to set boundaries within your working day, allowing you to prepare yourself in the morning, and switch off in the evening.