Healthy habits when working from home
by Anne Finch, Accredited Practising Dietitian for LiveLighter
- April 24, 2020
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I can count the number of times I worked from home before 2020 on one hand. There was that day I had to finish off the "due by 5pm" report and that other time I had to wait around for the NBN tech. In this strange new world, working from home has suddenly become the new normal for many of us.
To help you adapt, we’re sharing our team’s top tips to keep up (or start!) good food and movement habits that will help you stay healthy while you stay at home.
Create a commute
As appealing as it is to roll out of bed and fire up the laptop, creating a bit of mental and physical space between home and work is important. Without that daily commute, most of us now have a bit more time in the mornings to do something enjoyable! Try one of these activities before starting work to create that distance
- Go for a walk or ride (maintaining physical distance from others of course)
- Water your plants
- Listen to some music or a podcast
- Throw something in the slow cooker for tonight’s tea
- Eat a leisurely breakfast outside
- Pack your lunch
- Try an online yoga or workout video
Pack your lunch (and snacks)
This one might sound a bit out of the (lunch) box, but factoring in lunch to your weekly meal plan, shopping and even weekend cook up will save you time, money, and increase your chances of tucking into something that’s healthy during the working week. Getting lunch organised in the morning means:
- Enjoy eating lunch, without having to make it (or clean up after!)
- Save time in your work day, giving you extra time to use your lunch break for a quick walk or something else you enjoy;
- Avoid distractions (just a quick tidy up of the pantry while you’re there is pretty tempting!)
- Stick to your meal plan and help you plan your weekly shop
Stay connected with colleagues
A lot of us are using tech to stay in touch with our teams, and one thing we’ve found really useful is creating a separate space (group chat, Zoom meeting etc) for non-work stuff. It's mostly dog videos :). Those conversations we usually have in the lunchroom are important for bonding, team-y feelings (and productivity, of course).
With no colleagues, suits or sweat marks to worry about, one thing that’s easier to do from home is regular stretching and mini exercise breaks. Check out our 3 minute workouts here. Stretching and moving around can help relieve any aches, and getting your heart rate up can boost your energy levels. You’ll be patting yourself on the back at the end of the day for this one!
When you set up your workspace for the day, include a big bottle/ jug of water. There’s no hard and fast rule for how much water you should drink to stay hydrated. If your wee is a pale straw colour, you’re getting enough. If it’s dark, drink more. Avoid sugary drinks like soft drinks, fruit drinks and energy drinks. They’re loaded with sugar and kilojoules that your body doesn’t need. Although it IS exciting to have good coffee “at work”, keep an eye on your caffeine intake. Jittery and strung out isn’t the most productive mindset!
We hope you enjoy finding opportunities to make working from home really work for you! For more tips about being productive from home, check out Healthier Workplace WA’s seven steps to maintaining a healthier workplace from home.