By Kelly Cho|September 22,2021
Staying healthy when working from your office was always important. But since offices are already equipped with furniture and equipment that’s geared towards working longer hours, you aren’t hopefully taking too much of a toll on your health.
However, now that we find ourselves working from home for such long stretches, you’re more likely to settle into messed-up postures, non-ideal furniture/equipment, and workspaces that won’t do your long-term health any favors.
Research shows that a whopping 78% of remote employees are working out of makeshift, shared living spaces like dining rooms, living rooms, etc. So, while working from home might be a new normal, compromising your health shouldn’t become one.
Let’s go over a few ways you can continue working from home and stay healthy!
Whether you’re working from home or at the office, a good posture is non-negotiable when it comes to sitting at a desk for long hours. That said, it’s essential to understand what a ‘good’ posture is.
As you see in the image above, an ideal posture requires you to maintain a 90-degree angle between your upper arm and forearm. The same goes for your thighs and calves as well. Your spine and neck should also be in as straight a line as possible.
However, this might be easier said than done.
A lack of good posture can quickly translate into both long-term and short-term health issues like:• Back pain
• Neck pain
• Frequent Headaches
• Spine Curvature
Not all furniture will offer designs/features that allow for good posture along with excellent comfort. Ergonomic furniture and accessories come specifically designed to make it much easier to maintain a good posture. Now that we’re working from home, it’s up to us to work in a comfortable yet healthy position.
If you take a quick look at the image above, you’ll see that your monitor position significantly affects your posture.
People have different heights and other physical characteristics, so a rigid monitor stand that can’t adjust to you is bound to cause posture issues. Always make sure that a monitor can accommodate your natural comfort zone. Never contort your posture to adjust to your monitor. This compromise will inevitably exact a severe toll on your health down the line when working long hours.
Take MSI’s Modern MD241P and MD271P Business and Productivity Monitors, for example. They come equipped with ergonomic stands that offer unmatched flexibility – allowing you to position your screen the way you want. You can tilt, swivel, pivot, and even adjust monitor height to minimize discomfort when working.
Next, you’ll need an ergonomic, flexible seat to ensure correct posture and optimal comfort. Ideally, this would be a chair that you can adjust to your liking and is comfortable. It should also offer superb back, bottom, and thigh support. MSI’s MAG CH130 FABRIC Gaming Chairs are an excellent example of ergonomic chairs. They not only come with all the support your body needs for the proper posture, but are also equipped with a soft, breathable fabric to make each work session as comfortable as you can be.
Now that we’re working longer hours, our eyes find themselves staring at a screen for much longer than they’re used to. Unfortunately, straining your eyes for long stretches cause several health issues, both immediately and in the long term. For example, a staggering 45% of American workers reported experiencing ‘eyes feeling dry’ as a result of spending more time in front of a screen.
Eye strain is usually caused by a combination of factors like poor lighting, excessive glare, improper viewing distances, poor posture, and so on. Those who are experiencing eye strain will notice one or more of the following symptoms:• Headaches
• Eye fatigue
• Blurry vision
• Dry eyes
• Acute neck and shoulder pain
Since eye strain is caused by looking at screens for extended periods, taking frequent breaks is an easy way to prevent it. However, that might not always be possible. Meetings can run into hours, or maybe you’re just ‘in the zone’ and don’t want to interrupt your rhythm.
If you frequently find yourself in such situations, make sure that your monitors offer some features that minimize the strain on your eyes. Excessive exposure to blue light, glare, and screen flicker are among the most common causes of eye strain and fatigue.
Blue light exposure, for example, can wreak havoc with your sleep cycle. Studies have repeatedly linked it to poor sleep. The reason? Exposure to blue light close to bedtime signals your brain to ‘wake up’ rather than winding down. Similarly, excessive glare and screen flicker have long been thought to cause eye strain and result in splitting headaches when working long hours.
MSI’s Modern AM241 and AM271 Series AIO PCs are undoubtedly a class apart when it comes to eye care features. They try to mitigate these issues with a set of novel features designed to maximize viewing comfort and safeguard your health. The Less Blue Light and Anti-Flicker technologies minimize screen flicker and exposure to excessive blue light – making your work sessions much more comfortable.
The Summit MS321UP 4K Business Monitor takes eye care one step further with its Smart Brightness feature. It detects your ambient lighting and adjusts brightness to a comfortable level automatically. No one likes being blinded by their monitor in a dark room, and now, Smart Brightness won’t let it happen when you’re sitting down to work.
Regular Exercise and Breaks from Work
As tired as you may be of hearing this advice over and over, the fact is, regular exercise helps you stay healthy. Not only does it help you sleep better and lose weight, but it also boosts productivity and keeps you more alert throughout the day.
Research shows that you don’t need to go all out into a high-intensity workout to reap the benefits of exercise. Even people involved in a low-intensity activity reported favorable improvements to productivity and attentiveness.
While working out is vital, taking a well-earned reprieve from it all is equally important as well. Working from home has blurred the line between ‘work’ time and ‘home’ time. It’s now critical that you separate these two lives for your health’s sake. Make sure you have a ‘technology-free’ zone where you’re not bothered by messages, emails, calls, and so on.
In addition to a workout, you should also take regular breaks during your work hours. Staring at a screen for several hours can lead to problems like dry eyes down the line. Instead, give your eyes, mind, and body a rest. Take a load off, walk around, gather your thoughts, and then get started again. Regular breaks help you relax and make you happier (Tork Survey findings 2018) – leading to a more productive, efficient day!