Health Implications of Working From Home

Health Implications of Working From Home

For many people, beginning to work from home can mean a significant reduction in stress when compared to their previous work, outside of the home. Stress has long been associated with ill health, both acute and chronic illness such as heart attack and eczema, so reducing the stress in your life can positively impact your health. However working from home can have its downsides when considering your health.

The potential ill effects to your health from working in an office environment are relatively well known and publicized, including things such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) and back pain from poor posture. What you may not consider is that these things and more can become a problem for you when you work from home.

RSI is probably the most commonly known office work caused health problem and it occurs as a result of bad posture. Most people know of it in association with typing and computer work, but almost any repetitive work, such as sewing, knitting, or other crafts could cause the problem. Measures that improve your posture and general working position can help to reduce the pain of RSI.

Working from home may lead to a reduction in the amount of time one spends physically active. Even if this is only because you are no longer driving to work, and you lose the time behind the wheel and walking to and from the car, the reduction in activity means a reduction in the amount of calories that you burn. If you move from a more physically active job to working from home, then this could mean a significant weight gain.

The other half of the equation is the increase in temptation to eat. You are always in your own home-never more than a short walk from your kitchen, or pantry, with an ample supply of snacks or meals. Any time you are struggling to find inspiration or motivation to work, you may end up turning to food for a change of pace, or simply to break the boredom.

Weight gain through these two causes-the lessened activity and increased access to food-can be a big problem, with significant health risks associated with it. High blood pressure, risk of heart disease and diabetes are just a few of the side effects from unnecessary weight gain, but can be avoided.

Being mindful of your food choices is easier said than done when unhealthy foods are in the house. Smart shopping means that both you and your family can snack without being unhealthy, if you chose to only buy low calorie, low fat snacks such as fresh fruit and vegetables.

Recent studies have also shown that the air inside of the house can be more polluted than that outside of the house. This is an additional motivation for regularly spending time outside of the house, taking in fresh air and getting exercise that will help you to burn off excess calories. If you cannot get out, then exercise at home is the next best thing.

It would be unfortunate if the convenience of working from home could actually be detrimental to our health, but simple measures such as healthy eating and increased exercise can help to ensure that this is not the case.

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