Wednesday, December 23, 2015

5 Health Tips for Freelancers and Remote Workers

Nowadays, more and more people are seeking for a balanced lifestyle. Working remotely or freelancing become a very appealing option especially in busy cities with intense traffic. By working  remotely, we become more in control with our personal lives and health.

During my 6-year work in graveyard shift at the corporate world, I gained 30 pounds. Those were the years of sugar, carbo and caffeine which were like my coping mechanism against stress and sleepiness. Fast forward to 2011 when I decided to work freelance, I got stuck with my old routine. I often work at night, eat a lot with less physical activities. Before I know it, I already put on additional 15 pounds in 3 years.

In a span of 10 years, I've gained a total of 45 pounds. I just hope we are talking about savings here.

It was a wake up call when somebody thought that I was pregnant! And I am not even married yet! 

So, even if it is the holiday season, I made a decision to be on diet and to live in a more active lifestyle. So far, in a span of 3 weeks, I lose 8 pounds without starving myself and over-exercising.

Here are some health tips that I would like to share to freelancers and to virtual or remote workers who are living in a sedentary lifestyle.

1.  Active break from sitting

Everything done in excess is not good. Hence, prolonged sitting is hazardous to our health. The American Cancer Society made a connection between sitting and obesity.

Prolonged standing, however, is not good either. It is not the cure. Standing desk can be part of the solution if it will lead you to do more walking.

Expert suggest an active break from sitting every 30 minutes. This could be doing tasks while standing or walking to get some coffee or water.

Personally, what I do is to work standing while I can. I would often move my legs that way. But I would also sit down if I need to.

From article: 2 Hours of Standing at Work May Boost Your Health

2.  Simple exercises

Working home-based can sometimes take the sanity out of you and drain your energy. It can be very tempting to lazily lie on the bed or sit all day while working. Taking it from my own experience, it can make you feel fuzzy or light-headed.

If you can't do some simple exercises in between work, make sure to have some physical activity within the day. You can have a 30 minutes to 1 hour walk or jog outside after your work. You can have a zumba session by yourself or with your friends.

Try to find a physical activity that works best for you. It could temporarily take your attention away from work and refresh your mind, giving you that surge of alertness and energy.

3. Take some micro breaks

A micro breaks can take 30 seconds to 5 minutes.

Here are some interesting facts about the benefits you can get from taking breaks:
  • improves mental acuity by 13%
  • a 15-second break taken every 10 minutes reduces fatigue by 50%
  • taking a 5-minute break eliminates pain in the forearm, wrist or hand discomfor
  • regular breaks of just 2 minutes increase productivity by 11.15%
  • those who spend some of their time (less than 20%) surfing the web are an average 9% more productive than those who resist the urge to browse
  • 20 second break to gaze 20 ft away can relieve eye strain symptoms
  • employees are 10% more efficient when they can check social media regularly

4.  Be careful with your food choices

Soda, chocolate and chips are very tempting to eat while working. It effectively kills boredom from our work routine but it is not doing any good to our body. These food offers less or no nutritional value plus it could lead to weight gain.

If you need something to munch on like me during work, nuts or crunchy clusters help. Instead of soda, you can have lemon or flavored water.

5.  Get enough zzz

Freelancers or remote workers have the tendency to over work. Since there is less or no boundaries between personal and work life, things can get mixed up and sometimes you take more hours working or staying awake longer to compensate some lost hours.

To avoid burn out, it is important to stick to a schedule. If you have to post it to inform your friends and family about your working and sleeping hours, then do it.

I personally would turn off my phone if I don't want to be disturbed from my sleep. Getting fully rested before another bout of work is very important

These are simple tips which is very helpful to me. I hope they are to you too.

Also check out my previous blog posts:
Health and Wellness for Techie Lifestyle
Fitness for Freelancers

1 comment:

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