Top tips for keeping healthy while working at home

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This is a massive change for all of us to be working at home – how can you be healthier at home? University of the West of Scotland lecturer Jane Tobias gives her top tips.

Looking after yourself and keeping healthy is important as we deal with working at home. Coming into the winter months when the nights are earlier, it is important to get some daylight and perhaps a lunchtime walk to help rest from the screen. 7 top tips:

  1. Sit by a window with the natural daylight. The brain can convert this into serotonin which can make us feel better. Also it’s nice to look outside for a break away from the screen and not have artificial light. You might need a daylight lamp to help too, especially as the days get shorter.
  2. Get rid of the noise – what can be removed. Tune out what noise you can and maybe use headphones which will reduce distractions and allow you to work uninterrupted
  3. Declutter you environment. Make sure you reduce the clutter on your desk. This is extra stimulation and distraction and can increase stress. You might want to set time aside on a break to clear a specific area, or buy storage boxes to tidy it out of sight! Feels good to have a clear space to work in and you might end up taking unwanted or unused items to the charity shop which will improve your sense of wellbeing.
  4. Stand up regularly. How often do you work standing up, or get up and move around during the day? If you have stairs make sure you use them more than once or twice during the day and you can do stretches to help get rid of the kinks and change position, to prevent muscles aches and pains. Yoga stretches can help too but simply stretching your arms over your head and rolling your shoulders back too can help relieve any niggles
  5. Add plants to your environment. This makes you think of nature but you might be lucky to have a good view from your window too which can add to the relief of the pressure of always being at your screen and online
  6. Take breaks regularly and have social contact where possible. Walk at lunchtime, or chat with someone you live with. Talk to people when you are out or arrange online video chats to keep connected.
  7. Keep hydrated with water. This is important as dehydration can be the cause of headaches, and have healthy snacks and meals where you can. Keeping yourself nourished as you work can make the day run more smoothly and you will not feel as tired.

About Jane Tobias
Jane has been a lecturer at University of the West of Scotland for over 20 years teaching on the Applied Bioscience, Health and Lifestyle and Sports Coaching programmes.
Over the last 15 years, as a Registered Nutritional Therapist, Jane has supported many individuals of all ages to reduce stress, support the menopause, improve their health and wellbeing and reduce weight through directed food choices and targeted nutritional supplements.
Currently leading the University’s Public Health Master’s degree Jane emphasises the importance of considered food choices in the wider aspects of the health of populations.

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