2020 has been a year like no other! As the pandemic has seen us ditch our desks for a nine to five at the kitchen table, we've become accustomed to a whole new way of working life.
The world is now the largest remote office, with millions enjoying the bed-to-desk commute and a more comfy approach to office attire.
Whilst it has its perks, working from home, if we're not careful can have a detrimental impact on our health.
Job discovery platform, DirectlyApply revealed how remote workers could look in the next 25 years if they don’t change their habits whilst working at home. Lack of face-to-face social interaction, less walking and hunching over a screen all day can lead to a bumper crop of issues later down the line.
Meet Susan, remote worker of the future...
Whilst we're sure she's a great gal, Susan isn't a pretty sight... or state when it comes to health.
Though this vision has been carefully crafted by a team of clinical psychologists and fitness experts to determine the effects remote working has on both our physical and mental health.
All avoidable, with the right amount of exercise and self-care. Let's take a look...
Computer Vision Syndrome
Staring at a screen all day can lead to digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome, caused by an overload of repetitive eye movements.
Dry, inflamed and bloodshot eyes feel irritated, will impair vision and can lead to one hell of a headache. Ultimately, your eyesight will suffer.
FIX: Take regular breaks away from your screen. Use the time to have a good stretch, make a cuppa and do a few squats whilst the kettle boils. Reduce glare by positioning your screen away from bright sunlight and windows. And get your eyes checked.
All that time sitting down, leaning forwards causes us to hunch our shoulders and over extend the neck. Over time, this can lead to rounded shoulders and a hunchback. We start to slouch after just 15 minutes of sitting or standing still. And many of us work for several hours without getting up to take a break.
Repetitive Typing Strain
That tingling in your hands or pain in your palms? That'll be the overuse of the nerves and tendons caused by typing.
Not only does it feel uncomfortable and often painful, repetitive strain injuries can lead to other problems with posture.
FIX: Take regular breaks to give your hands a rest (which means, put the phone down too!) Use a quality wrist rest to ensure you are working with as little strain on the hands and wrists as possible. And don't bash the keyboard! Try a little Tai Chi to relax tight muscles and help you to stretch those limbs, including the wrists and hands.
When we sit infront of a screen all day, or spend a great deal of time on the phone, our spine begins to curve over time. This leads to stiffness, sore necks and shoulder pain. Cervical kyphosis, or 'tech neck' can eventually lead to an abnormal curving of the spine and neck as we choose comfort over correct ways to sit.
Not just a pain in the neck, rounded shoulders can trigger issues elsewhere, including lower back pain and a shortening of the hamstrings.
FIX: Move more! Pilates is a great workout to combat lower back pain. Squeeze in an On Demand session during your lunch break via the Village Gym app. Or keep the core strong with Les Mills CXWorx, to strengthen the back, shoulders and abs for better posture all round. Try it live on the app!
Lack of human interaction, working late nights or being away from your friends can lead to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, sending blood pressure soaring and playing havoc with your health.
FIX: Being active increases blood flow around the body, including the flow to the brain. By getting in your daily exercise, this blood flow prevents the body from getting sluggish, giving us better focus, concentration and positive thoughts.
Try an on-demand fitness class from Les Mills, or one of our cardio sessions on YouTube to get your heart rate up and the feel good hormones pumping.
For more tips on combatting stress with fitness feel goods, see here...
Thanks to Direct Apply for letting us share their vision.