Telecommuting is an excellent opportunity, but many work-from-home jobs require long stretches of sitting at a desk (when you aren't interrupted by the kids, anyway). All that sitting can actually be bad for your health—leading to weight gain, soreness, and eye strain from using the computer. Add being stuck at home to the equation, and it's easy to see why being a WAHM can be so stressful. But thankfully, there are a few tricks to make all that sitting less tedious, while still getting things done. Here are eight healthy tips for telecommuting from a desk all day.
1. Schedule breaks—for your body, eyes and mind.
It's easy to buy into the idea that you'll get more done if you don't leave your desk, but that's not actually the case. One study showed that taking short breaks for exercise didn't just increase energy, but their efficiency as well. Short breaks will leave you refreshed and more productive when you return. Stand up and move around, but avoid checking Facebook or turning on the TV—your eyes need a break, too.
2. Work in short blocks and use a timer.
Turn productivity into your own personal challenge. Set a timer for, say, 30 minutes or two hours, and identify what you need to do in that time. Working with a timer increases productivity when you know you have only so much time. Once the timer goes off, take a break or switch to another task that can be done in a different position (walking while making business calls, for example).
3. Get plenty of exercise.
When a large portion of your day is spent at a desk, it's important to exercise regularly. Find a routine that works for you -- perhaps waking up early in the morning or breaking up the day with a noon jog, or heading to the gym in the evenings.
4. Alternate your position.
Staying in the same position for long periods contributes to body aches, but you can still get work done without sitting in your office chair. Try a desk that converts from sitting to standing. Periodically swap out your chair to squat on an exercise ball. Invest in a treadmill desk. Whatever you do, don't stay in one position for eight hours straight.
5. Make sure you're using the right posture.
Good posture will also help keep soreness at bay. The top of your computer screen should be level with your eyes -- any lower and you'll place strain on your neck and back, any higher and you may bother your eyes. Also, don't slouch -- keep your back straight, with your feet flat on the floor.
6. Learn some “deskercises.”
To avoid the same position, try out a few different exercises that can be done at your desk. They'll break up your day, get your body moving, and help you feel a little more refreshed to tackle that next task. Greatist has an excellent list of 33 deskercises—try them out and find a handful you can incorporate into your work day.
7. Stay hydrated, and choose healthy snacks.
Working from home means you have a fully stocked kitchen nearby—use it to your advantage. Instead of snacking on processed foods that can be stashed in a desk drawer, curb the sweet craving with fresh fruit or satisfy the need for something crunchy with veggies. Don't stash that fridge full of sugary drinks, though -- stay hydrated with water. You'll avoid the calories, as well as the sugar crash.
8. Get out of the house.
Being stuck in the house 24/7 can put a toll on your emotional health. After work hours are over, try to get out of the house, even if it's just for a walk around the block. Take the kids to the park, go grocery shopping, plan an evening out with friends, go on regular date nights. Or if possible, take your computer to a coffee shop or the park for an hour or two and get some work done outside the home. The point is, don't let yourself get sucked into an avoidable depression from staring at the same four walls all day.