19th May 2021

3 Tips for a Healthier
Work-From-Home

How many of y’all are working from home?

At the time of writing, we’re experiencing a small hiccup with the COVID situation here in Singapore. The measures have tightened yet again, and many people are returning to a WFH arrangement. Hopefully, things are a lot better wherever you are. Even then, chances are that things are far from back to “normal”, and many of you out there are still working from home. 

There are many good things about working from home, but in some cases, it also has the unwanted effect of causing some of us to be even more sedentary than before. No more running for the bus, no more walking to get your favorite boba, no more unwillingly taking the stairs while simultaneously cursing at the out-of-service escalator.

Nowadays, people may be stuck at home with limited space, and losing track of time, working longer hours than they used to in the office. More people in Singapore are complaining about aches and pains as a result of sitting for prolonged periods of time since working from home.

But there are things that can be done to make your work at home more comfortable, more productive, and overall, better for your body. Here are a few of our tips:

1. Pay attention to ergonomics

This is the most basic advice that you’ve probably heard at least a few times in your life, and there’s a good reason for that. If you’re sitting at a conventional desk, on a conventional chair, you’ll likely be in one position A LOT. And if you’re going to be in one position a lot, then you should definitely make it as ergonomic as you can.

In our opinion, these are the most important things to take note of:

  • Adjust your monitor to eye-level height. If you’re using a laptop, consider elevating it to the appropriate height, and use an external keyboard and mouse. This can help prevent neck aches.
  • Your seat height should be adjusted to the point where your elbows can rest comfortably on the desk at a ~90 degree angle. This can help prevent shoulder aches.
  • Type with your wrists in a neutral position (straight; not flexed in either direction). If you type a lot and your keyboard has a bit of height (most keyboards do), consider using a wrist rest to achieve neutral wrist position.

The above mentioned are the things that we took into consideration before coming to a decision for the height of our floor desks. There are more things to pay attention to, check out this infographic for more info if you’re interested:

2. Set reminders to get up and move

Don’t stop there. Even if your workspace is set up perfectly, it’s still important to get up and move every once in a while. The most rudimentary way would be to set a timer manually — like on your smartphone, since all smartphones have a timer function built-in.

For example: Set a timer for 30 minutes. Sit down and get to work. When the timer’s up, get up and move for a couple of minutes (go to the toilet, refill your glass of water, etc.). Repeat the process.

There are also apps that are specific for this purpose. HL’s favorite is the Forest app, a gamified productivity timer. Start the app, select your duration of focus, and a virtual tree will be planted when you start the timer. Leave the app (like if you get distracted and start scrolling on Instagram), and the tree dies 😱 Stay focused, and you’ll soon be growing a lush virtual forest. Forest even partners with an organization to plant real trees, so if you spend money on the app, you can feel good knowing that part of that contributes to more trees on Earth.

Something else to consider is the popular Pomodoro technique. There are mobile apps like this one (iOS), or web-based apps like this one.

3. Explore new ways to work

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could also explore new ways to work at home. Build a makeshift standing desk or floor desk with things that you have in the house, or work entirely on the floor. The more options you have, the more likely you’ll be alternating between them instead of being stuck in only ONE position.

Related Videos:

If you want to learn more about how exploring new ways to work can be beneficial to your body, then don’t miss this video!

On top of incorporating more movement throughout the day, we all know that exercising regularly does wonders for our body. This video shows how we structure our weekly workouts, hopefully you can find some inspiration on how you can structure yours.

Looking for ideas to kit out your work from home workspace? This is a short visual walkthrough of Glo’s simple, bang-for-buck desk setup.

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