Health tips by Barmer: Stay fit and relaxed in your home office
Working from home has become part of everyday life for many people. Instead of commuting to an office, we sit down at our desk at home, instead of going to the photocopier, we go to the fridge, and instead of meeting colleagues, we meet our family at most. But working from home can still work just fine. Here are eight handy tips on how to stay fit and relaxed in your day-to-day home office routine.
Tip 1: Plan your working day
It’s easier to get through a day working from home if it resembles a day in the office: Get up early in the morning. Get dressed as if you were leaving the house. Set fixed working hours and only do private things before or after work. Just as important: Plan breaks and take them!
Tip 2: Sit ergonomically
Adjust the seat and backrest of your chair correctly: your thighs should be positioned horizontally, with your thighs and lower legs at right angles, feet loosely on the floor. Your shoulders should hang down relaxed. Your screen should be approximately one arm’s length from your head, the upper edge of your monitor should be at eye level.
Tip 3: Overcome motivation dips
You are likely to experience motivation dips sooner at home because there are so many distractions: piles of laundry, children, postmen ringing the doorbell, TV, pets. Therefore, in the evening, make a to-do list for the next working day and tick off all the items on it first before you do anything else. You should always put the most difficult to-do items at the top of the list and take care of those first.
Tip 4: Take proper breaks
Because we often stay in the same position in front of our screens for hours, we need breaks and movement now and then. If necessary, set yourself a timer to remind yourself to stand up for at least five minutes every hour. Also, schedule an hour for a lunch break that is not spent at your desk.
Tip 5: Keep moving at your desk
Take every opportunity to move around while you work: make phone calls standing up, change your sitting position frequently, stretch your arms upwards as if you were picking apples. Circle your shoulders and relieve the strain on your eyes by stretching your thumb far away from you and alternately focusing on your thumb and then on an object in the distance. This only takes a few minutes but will relax your body.
Tip 6: Eat right
Some people snack all through the day, others forget to eat entirely and double up in the evening. Fixed mealtimes where you sit down to eat at the dining table and not in front of a screen can help. Choose light, healthy meals: fruit and yoghurt for breakfast, vegetables, wholemeal products and pulses for lunch. And drink plenty of water!
Tip 7: “Meet” colleagues
If you feel alone in your home office or miss your colleagues, you can meet outside regular video conferences, too – call instead of e-mailing, or arrange to meet for a virtual coffee or after-work get-together.
Tip 8: Stay active
At home, you can easily incorporate a small workout into your day: there are countless free fitness videos for all levels and sports, whether yoga, high-intensity training or Zumba – there’s something for everyone. Or go for a short bike ride or walk. If you find it difficult to motivate yourself alone, arrange to meet friends, colleagues or a personal trainer for a virtual workout together.