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Healthy lifestyle tips for homeworkers

Paystream News

Michelle Derungs

Friday 19th May, 2017

Workers with a typical nine-to-five office role might start their day by walking to the station, followed by a half-hour walk at lunchtime and a healthy lunch prepared the night before, before walking home again at the end of the day.

But when you make the move to working for yourself as a personal service company contractor or freelancer from home, you can sometimes slip out of a set routine.

You won't be commuting anymore, which is great in terms of avoiding rush-hour traffic, but if you did used to walk to work every day, you may miss out on that extra daily cardio. What's more, if you're struggling to strike a good work-life balance, you may just be grabbing snacks when you're hungry rather than preparing something healthy and nutritious.

However, having greater flexibility in your working day means you'll easily be able to follow these simple tips to improve your lifestyle when working as a home-based contractor or freelancer.

Could working from home impact a healthy lifestyle?

Recent research carried out by led to the discovery that 41 per cent of people in the UK who regularly work from home don't use an appropriate office chair and desk, which could impact their musculoskeletal health due to a lack of support.

Overall, under one-fifth (19 per cent) of homeworkers said they would sit in a proper chair while working, with 24 per cent admitting to slouching on the sofa to do their work instead. Just over one-third of respondents (34 per cent) reported that they worked at a desk.

Younger freelancers (those aged between 18 and 24) were the least likely to use an appropriate office set-up.

Mark Kelly, Marketing Manager at, commented: "It is vital that, if working from home is a regular thing, workers have a proper office chair and either a desk or laptop to work from to allow them to ensure their screen or laptop is at the correct height, their posture will remain straight and their arms will be at the right angle while typing. All of these are vital to preventing some of the problems associated with computer-based working."

But what other changes can workers make to their home offices if they want to lead a healthier lifestyle?

How to make your home office better for your health

Investing in a proper chair and desk is important, but your office set-up will provide you with even more support if you also look into ergonomic accessories such as wrist rests to safeguard against repetitive strain injury while typing and back supports for your chair.

If you struggle with bad posture, a specially-designed foot rest to place under your desk could also provide you with some extra support, while a wireless mouse and keyboard could give you greater flexibility when using your computer rather than leaving you straining your hands into uncomfortable positions due to short or tangled wires.

Aside from all of this, you should also try to gain a better hold of your work-life balance by working to set hours each day wherever possible. This will help to prevent your work time from eating into your leisure time and will keep you more productive.

Healthy foods to boost your productivity

Once you've established a set working routine, you need to make sure that healthy lunches and snacks are incorporated into this. Some foods are known as superfoods due to the extra boost to your immune system or your brain power that they can bring, so it would be worth adding these into your meals where possible when you're working from home.

For example, dark chocolate has a high magnesium content, which has been proven to reduce stress levels and the caffeine it contains means it could help to improve your productivity when eaten in moderation.

Nuts are another good option, as they are naturally high in vitamin E and amino acids. Past studies have proven that eating a handful when your energy levels begin to slump could help to give your productivity levels a boost.

One of the healthiest ways to get a sugar fix when you feel you need a boost is to eat a banana, as these naturally have a very high glucose content so could help you to feel more awake and keep your brain ticking over on a long afternoon.

Other foods that may be good for increasing your productivity include oily fish such as salmon, avocados and brown rice, which, like dark chocolate, is naturally high in stress-relieving magnesium.

Although working from home means you can sometimes slip out of a day-to-day routine, not only does working as a limited company contractor give you the opportunity to create a better work-life balance, but also more flexibility, meaning you'll have more time to incorporate exercise and a healthier diet into your lifestyle.

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