From freelancers, to consultants, small business owners to contractors, many Australians work from home (WFH). Whilst it has its conveniences (goodbye daily commute!), WFH can present a diverse range of challenges, especially when it comes to our health. Many people are not well equipped with the proper office furniture, such as a supportive chair or appropriate desk, resulting in working extended hours at the kitchen bench or hunched over a laptop on the couch.

To help keep you on track towards your wellness goals we’re sharing five tips to help you stay productive and healthy while working from home!

Set up your space: Creating a space that is comfortable, efficient and clean will have you more excited to log on for work. A desk ensures you have a space dedicated specifically for work which separates you from the other spaces within the home. If you don’t have the budget for an ergonomic chair, try supporting and maintaining strong posture by using a pillow behind your lower back. Once these basics are sorted, it’s time to make it your own. Place a candle, a lamp or some flowers on your desk – things that will welcome you with positive energy into your work space.

Plan of a-snack: Having a well stocked cupboard and fridge at your fingertips can wreak havoc on your wellness goals. So, ensure you have a snack plan. Try scheduling your snack times, as you would if you were working in an office. Pack them in containers and have them at your desk, away from the kitchen. For healthy snack ideas, try fruit and nuts, or celery and carrot sticks. Portion your snack sizes so you don’t over indulge.

Get moving: Sitting in the same position or chair all day can lead to back, neck and shoulder pain. Just like your snack plan, schedule mini-breaks where you stand up, stretch and roll, even if it’s for a few minutes. If you have some extra time, why not try the eight chair exercises we shared in an earlier article this month? Step outside for a few minutes for a breath of fresh air and some sunshine.

Maintain a routine: Whilst it might be tempting to sleep in, roll out of bed and onto the couch to catch up on emails, establishing a routine will set you up for success, provide a structure for your work days and it may also benefit your mental health. Firstly, determine consistent working hours and factor in breaks and meal times. Then establish your routine, shower, coffee, breakfast, stretch, and then begin work (at your desk!). The great thing about WFH is your routine can be adjusted to suit what works best for you. Take note of the days you feel most productive and mentally positive to help identify the parts of your routine which helped you feel this way.

Know when to log off: Logging off can be trickier to do for some who WFH. In a world where we are encouraged to always stay connected digitally, it is very important to have a healthy balance. Determine when you’ll log off working each day and try to stick to it. Of course, this may change depending on work commitments and meetings, but keep track of your time because maintaining a work life balance is one of the most important tips to ensure WFH is sustainable and healthy.

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