Covid-19 and the lockdown that followed has brought along many unexpected changes. The most prominent one being ‘Work from Home’. Most of the organizations started operations remotely in lockdown resulting in employees having to work from home. While fascinating at first, we soon started to realize the demerits associated with it – the major factor being our health.
Nutrition expert and founder of Get Fit with Rihana, an online nutrition consultancy, Rihana outlines the common perils of working from home and how to manage them.
‘D’ most important effect –
‘One big issue with WFH is that work timings are blurred. Often we start work early and end late evening. Thus we hardly get any sunlight exposure causing Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is responsible for immune function, protecting bone, muscle and heart health. It is more important than you think. The rising deficieny of Vitamin D in our generation is quite alarming. And no, there is no Vitamin D in sunlight, as many people believe. But our bodies produce this when exposed to sunlight for atleast 20-25 mins.’
‘Make it a point to go to your terrace or balcony for at least 20 mins with maximum part of your body exposed to direct sunlight. Not only will it help restore Vitamin D levels in the long run, but is an excellent mood stabilizer. Consider it like charging yourself in the morning for the day to come. Also ensure you include foods such as eggs, salmon, meat which are good sources of vitamin D. If you are a pure vegetarian there is a chance you might not be getting the required levels from food. Its a good idea to check your levels and consult your doctor who will prescribe a supplement if needed.’
Stress Eating while jumping Zoom meetings –
“Working from home although convenient is an awkward experience for us. We are not used to working from our personal space. Add to that family responsibilities like online school for children etc. which add to the stress levels. Due to so much multitasking, many prefer to eat whats convenient and order food online. This is more due to improper time management. The travelling time you save can be used to cook healthy home meals instead of opting for quick home deliveries because its convenient. Try to keep your carb intake minimum. Refined carbs spike your blood sugar levels making you feel hungry again quickly. Healthy Fats & Proteins will keep you satiated longer, thus reducing the need for multiple snacks throughout the day.”
Rihana further talks about how one can develop the habit of healthy snacking at home. She says, “Along with meals, keep some healthy snacks ready. It could be something as simple as cheeze cube along with some almonds or a bowl of sprouts sprinkled with some red chilli/chaat powder or dry scraped coconut or assorted mix seeds. Additionally one can keep some fruits & nuts handy to snack on instead of reaching the fridge for some unhealthy packaged option. Instead of multiple cups of tea/coffee with sugar, one can try coconut water or salty lemon water or chilled kokum sherbet (without sugar). Its refreshing plus has a cooling effect on our system”
Give it ‘Back’ to your Shoulder, Neck pains –
“When working from home, it’s easy to develop a bad posture since it’s tempting to work from your couch or bed. Long hours of slouching result in posture problems and muscle pains. As we tilt our heads to look down at our cell phones, the effective weight of the human head increases—from about 12lbs upright to 60lbs at a 60-degree angle.”
“As you get involved in work, its natural to forget about your body’s posture.. Set a timer to remind yourself to sit with a straight back and also to get up at least once an hour to stretch and take a short walk. Do some light yoga like cat-camel stretch, upward dog & downward dog to release the stiffness and stretch the spine. Rihana suggests raising your screen to eye level by stacking your monitor on books or small boxes; keeping your keyboard at elbow height with your elbows bent at 90 degrees; keeping your shoulders relaxed; and if necessary, raising your seat higher by stacking books or pillows underneath you.”
It sure looks like Working From Home has become the norm and is here to stay, so as we ensure top professional standards towards our job while working in our pajamas, it is equally important to ensure top fitness standards while maneuvering through the COVID pandemic and adopting a new lifestyle.