Ever since the Coronavirus Pandemic has swept our planet, we’ve had to adapt to the new trend of working from home. Apart from getting used to our new way of life restricted to staying within our homes, we’ve had very little time to understand the process and prepare ourselves before starting to work remotely. This has led to a large majority of people to believe that work from home is comfortable, without realizing its consequences on our health.
We feel that understanding the effects remote working has on our mind and body is very necessary to stay healthy in such dire times, and have therefore prepared a list of potential health risks which could occur due to poor discipline over your health, while working from home.
1. Weight Gain and Stress:
Remote working may seem like it has its perks on the surface, but working in a constant sedentary environment can have severe effects on the physical well being. The body needs movement and physical activity, but being stuck at a desk can make you more lethargic which leads to further behavioral changes that are detrimental to health.
This lack of physical movement or exercise can lead to weight gain which can cause a plethora of other problems. Being stuck at a desk with only the monotony of work to keep you company can lead to some amount of boredom and the stress of completing daily work assignments can in turn lead to the unhealthy habit of stress eating, thus starting the vicious cycle of potential obesity.
This sedentary lifestyle not only affects the body’s natural constitution, but also its circadian rhythm and overall body metabolism which can sometimes be irreversible and can lead to permanent health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Therefore, finding the right balance of performing some amount of physical activity and taking methodical breaks away from your desk can prevent a lot of distressing health problems.
2. Physical Burnout:
A sedentary lifestyle can not only lead to uncontrollable weight gain, but also have consequences on more localized areas of the body. Most individuals spend time working in front of smart devices and computer screens, constantly typing away for hours on end.
It has been made evident that the UV radiation and Blue light from screens can be harmful to the eyes in the long run. Eye strain is a common problem among individuals working from home and complaints about blurry vision and an increase in cases of insomnia or poor sleep cycles have seen and increase in the past few months.
A good solution to keeping eye strain at bay is following the 20-20-20 Rule, which involves looking away from the screen every 20 minutes at an object that is 20 feet away, for a duration of 20 seconds. Accompanying eye problems are a plethora of auditory complications that may arise due to constant usage of mobile phones or headsets to communicate during work meetings or attend work calls. The only solution to deftly control this is to schedule all the tasks beforehand and communicate in more quick and efficient ways that can cut down on time spent over calls.
With constantly being tied down to a desk, people often complain about problems related to their posture and to muscular & osteological conditions. Being seated in one location for a long time while typing away on a keyboard can lead to a detriment in posture or even carpal tunnel syndrome, leading to early bouts of bone ailments and minor cases of muscular atrophy. Exercise is thus highly recommended so that the movement of the body keeps dormant muscles and bones active to perform efficiently when away from the work desk.
3. Mental Burnout:
Mental Burnout is the most common problem employees face while working from home, Whether it is the loneliness and isolation of working from an apartment as a lone resident, or having to balance multiple responsibilities while coming to terms with maintaining a healthy work-life balance, mental burnout, anxiety and depression are conditions that people are not immune to. Mental distress can be experienced by anyone and at any time in their lives and we must be wary of how we treat our coworkers and employees during times of global distress.
A hefty workload without any assistance to the employee may show a loss in morale. This could be a potential sign of the employee being overwhelmed or anxious about rigid work times and deadlines. Seeking out and offering mental health assistance in times like this is highly advised not only to keep the morale of the individual up, but also to ensure that no further harm is caused to them, physical or mental.
Creating a supportive environment with loved ones, friends & colleagues and engaging with psychiatrists through online appointments is highly advised for those who suffer from ongoing psychological disorders or those who wish to help patients with a history of psychological distress.
If there is a discerning concern regarding the health of you or your loved ones during the COVID19 Pandemic, at A.J Hospital we have several online consultation opportunities and portals available with experts from every faculty of medicine, including psychiatrists, physiotherapy and bariatricians, all only a click away.