52% of workers have sought a healthier lifestyle since the March 2020 lockdown. Unbalanced diet, sleep disorders, lack of exercise.... all of these problems can affect your quality of life at work and impact your well-being. It's not too late to take action on your daily lifestyle and improve your work environment. How can you do this? By adopting new habits and implementing these 5 actions, your life might just change. Follow our guide to staying in top shape even if you work from home!
1. Adopt the right posture
With the widespread practice of telecommuting, more than 45% of workers have noticed a deterioration in their work posture.
When working at home, one's position is not always the same as in the office. People tend to sit on their legs, arch their backs or sit at an angle behind the computer. Do you recognize yourself?
Then here's a little reminder! When sitting, there is a natural tendency to slump down. The lumbar and dorsal spine flex and the cervical spine stretches. To avoid this, sit up straight with a straight spine. The Flemish Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention recommends standing up several times an hour, and even every half hour if you work at home.
2. Follow a healthy diet
According to the World Health Organization, a healthy diet can increase our productivity at work by 20%.
A balanced diet is essential when we know that 28% of Belgian adults between the ages of 18 and 54 are overweight. "We are what we eat. The quality of our energy depends on what we consume daily. But telecommuting and having a cupboard full of treats on hand has made things a little more complicated. How can we resist the temptation to snack?
- Here are some tips on how to eat healthy and feel good:
- Follow your hunger and satiety signals
- Avoid industrial sugar as much as possible
- Drink water regularly throughout the day, aim for 1.5L/day
- Don't eat on the go, take a real lunch break with a full and as balanced a meal as possible
- Try batch cooking: prepare the week's meals in advance, to save time and ensure you eat well
- Download a nutrition app to follow custom recipes. We tested it for you: Foodvisor
Our advice: Get to the root of the problem. When shopping, pay attention to the quality of products and scan them through a mobile app to find out their composition.
3. Stay active
The World Health Organization considers a sedentary lifestyle the fourth most important risk factor for death in the world, killing at least as many people as smoking.
30 minutes of exercise, three to five times a week, is a good rhythm to obtain calming effects! This is because it strengthens the respiratory system, circulatory system and vital organs. When you exercise, your body releases four important hormones: endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine. Together, these play a key role in our well-being and motivation!
Simply put, regular exercise is the best way to reduce the occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders. The most recommended sports to strengthen the muscles of the spine are swimming, climbing, pilates and yoga. Find your ideal sports and wellness resolution!
Going outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air and stretch your legs is a good start. Walk when you can: to the grocery store or when you're on the phone. The minimum number of steps recommended by the WHO is 10,000 per day. That's a lot, but every step you take brings you closer to your goal. When you are refreshed, you can concentrate better.
Our advice: make time for physical activity in your workday and stick to it. You can even put it in your work agenda. For example, every Tuesday from 12:30 to 13:30 and every Thursday from 18:00 to 19:00.
4. Learning to disconnect
41% of teleworkers find it difficult to disconnect from their workday in the evening!
Despite the right to disconnect, finding the right balance between private and professional life is often complicated when working from home. Sport is considered by 75% of employees as a way to disconnect and feel good about themselves.
Being connected 24 hours a day can have negative effects on memory, creativity and productivity. So disconnecting for at least an hour a day and giving our brains a break is vital!
So how do you learn to disconnect?
- Set yourself limits (identical hours in the office)
- Try the Pomodoro technique: cut your time into 25-minute chunks to work more efficiently
- Turn off your phone and computer outside of work hours
- Get a good night's sleep (between 7 and 8 hours per night), which is essential for your metabolism to function properly
- Try the Miracle Morning: get up earlier and take time for yourself before starting your workday
- Take meditation to clear your mind, in particular with the application Petit BamBou which offers a digital detox program
Our advice: breathe! Take the time to take a deep breath at least once a day for 2 minutes and think of nothing else. Breathing in and out deeply will help you manage your stress.
5. Create a stimulating work environment
The quality of the workplace has a clear impact on productivity (89%), ability to concentrate (92%) and creativity (74%).
However, in times of telecommuting, the ergonomics of the workplace at home (too small or no office, poor lighting, etc.) is a source of discomfort, psychological and visual fatigue for most of us. We do not always have our own workspace. Although the stress and fatigue associated with commuting have disappeared, there are other problems, such as difficulty concentrating.
How do we deal with the negative effects of being "deskless"?
For starters, no sofas, no beds! To work efficiently and spare your body, it is better to work at a desk. If you have a high table or a bar at home, you can also work standing up, which is good for your back.
To do this, it is often necessary to make adjustments at home, using equipment such as a custom chair, a dual screen or a laptop booster. More and more companies are subsidizing this type of equipment to improve their employees' quality of life at work.
Our advice: Always keep your workplace clean and tidy to ensure you are productive. The key is to cut yourself off from distractions.
As you can see, being a successful telecommuter requires some minor adjustments. But there is no such thing as insurmountable effort when health and well-being are at stake!
Getting used to these new reflexes will have a positive impact on your work days and you will soon notice the effects on your form.