Maintaining healthy habits while working from home

Working from home is great, isn’t it?

You can roll out of bed, get to your desk and work in your pajamas or yoga pants without any stress or strain. Heck, you could even skip brushing your teeth, showering, or eating breakfast if you wanted.

And sleeping in? Well, without any commute or the need to get up and get ready for work, you’ve at least gained an hour every morning from the past daily commuter traffic drama, haven’t you?

Working from home is convenient. And for some, myself included, maybe too convenient at times.

It’s so easy to wake up and walk a few steps to the office chair — and sit… for hours, easily absorbed by our work and not being interrupted.


With no one to tell us how we look, it’s easy to even stop worrying about appearance. We can work longer hours when we work from home, too. There’s always one more thing to get done, and we might as well tackle it sooner rather than later, right? Heck, there aren’t any dark parking lots to deal with or traffic to contend with – working from home gives us so much MORE time to work!

Event though these things sound like they might be benefits, without discipline, working from home can become unhealthy. We can get out of eating regularly, not drink enough water, forget to get up and move, and even sacrifice must-needed sleep.

When I worked in a corporate office I made sure to drink a lot so I had to get up several times during the day. Working from home, I got out of that habit, so now set a timer for an hour so that I’ll remember to drink something.

Exercise is definitely easier during the warm weather months. This winter was difficult in terms of getting outside to exercise, or even drive to the gym. But it’s necessary to find ways to stand (standing desk, anyone? I know Lee has talked about the benefits at least twice) and move around to get the blood flowing and the slouched back straightened out.

I gained several pounds over the winter due to not moving enough and grabbing junk food out of the pantry instead of taking the time to prepare healthy meals. Convenience isn’t always a good thing!

Have you come upon any health concerns or challenges since you started working from home? How have you dealt with them? What do you do to make working from home a healthier option than the typical office job?

LisaJJackson_2014Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies tell their stories. You can connect with Lisa on TwitterFacebookGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

29 thoughts on “Maintaining healthy habits while working from home

  1. Being retired from 9-5 work ages ago and then deciding to work from home, by making use of my computer
    Seemed the ideal way to go, and yes working from home can be great
    Although there are still time when I do get interrupted (family life) and also by the owner of the site I’m a live monitor for who frequently pops up if he’s not happy about my performance as a monitor & insists on a presentable appearance

  2. I really struggle with working from home, for all these reasons and more. In fact, I choose to make a 60 mile just to have a couple of folk to sit beside. I get my energy from being with people. Maybe the fact that my work is all about people makes it hard for me to be alone too. Drinking water and moving about are two things I neglect most, even though I know they give me more energy than endless cups of coffee.

  3. My problem is getting started in the first place. I sit down at my desk, remove the cat from it, check my emails, make a fuss of the cat again, deal with Facebook and Twitter, then WordPress, then realise I was last working on my other computer so all my hand-written notes are in the kitchen, feed the cat, go and see if my notebook is actually in the living room, get dragged into doing housework because I live with my parents…

    Yesterday I was all ready to sit down and do a mountain of research. Instead I managed to build the bookcase to hold it all and then my mum asked me if I wanted to help her in the garden. By the time I’d escaped the garden I had a couple of hours to sort everything through and print out the information I needed before I had to start work on dinner. I’m looking at an apartment this week, so we’ll see whether living on my own means I get more done or spend more time playing Sims.

    The joys of being technically self-employed but actually not getting paid or set any deadlines.

  4. I have been working from home for almost a year now. I have noticed the change in my habits and it scares me. Everything about it scares me! My health, my sanity, my appearance. I have to make myself get up several times a day. At first it was hard as I wanted to work harder and longer. The I noticed a change in my attitude and the pain my body was feeling. I don’t set a timer…I let my body tell me when it’s time. Usually about 1.5 hrs and I’m ready to get up. Yes, this winter was very hard to get outdoors so I have slowly taken on Yoga to stretch my muscles. I enjoy working from home and the freedom it gives. It forces me to change my habits and hopefully create new habits so that I can enjoy my writing!

  5. I need to be reminded of this at times but I’ve joined the 5am club(which I’ve written a post about) which means I get up somewhere around that time to get in earlier than everyone and make the most of my day. The first thing I do is go check that my kitchen is clean even if I already know it is, I hate a messy kitchen. Then I get ready, and I’ll think about what my plan is as I do this and then get on with things. Although this is quite a new approach for me. Before this my routine was get up as early as my brain wakes me up and go with the flow, which is so unproductive. I think how you start your day makes a huge impact on the rest of it

  6. Hello! Thank you for bringing light to this! I also wrote a post about this because I was concerned about the sedentary aspects of blogging once I started my own blog a few months ago. I work in health ed and just blog when I can, but nonetheless there are vey negative effects from prolonged sitting. Here’s a link to the article I referenced if you care to read more about it from a medical perspective. Thanks again for these valuable reminders 🙂

  7. I sit way too much, and forget to eat and forget to socialize with other live human beings. Without a boss hovering over my shoulder I sometimes forget to work!

  8. I dont think work at home is an issue. So far I’m concerned I manage a website and I pass a lot of time of it, mut it’s nice for me. I just hope that I will become more visitor in order to earn a little money 🙂 I hope I see you on my website 😉

  9. I’ve worked from home for years. Having a set schedule and deadlines are critical. As for health, I try to program in either a walk or work on our property (we have five acres) every day. Still, I can get lost in what I am doing. –Curt

  10. Working from home means heaps of discipline and it’s definitely not easy, although there are heaps of advantages. Dressing, drinking, eating well are all so important. Nice post!

  11. Setting an alarm and actually getting up at the alarm helps me a bunch. I am not at the point of working from home but I hope to reach that point eventually. Reading this post gives me another boost of encouragement that I can make it work if I am persistent. Thank you!

  12. On the other side of the world, here I am at 4.46am. This is the first time I’ve looked at my WordPress site in well over a year. Thanks Nurse Kelly for a valuable link. I’m emailing it to my neighbor who is suffering from chronic back pain.

  13. I work from home at least one day a week and I find that I’m so much more productive due to fewer distractions. However, it can be very isolating if I’m working from home more than two days consecutively. I think there needs to be a healthy balance between the two.

  14. I enjoyed the post! My trouble is often in getting into and then staying in the chair in order to write the number of words I want to write each day. Being at home offers many distractions- cooking, laundry, family etc. But sticking to a writing and exercise schedule most days is extremely helpful…especially if I ‘announce’ what that schedule is, so I will be less likely to stray from it. (and yes, sure was a long winter! I went to many yoga classes but not enough walking)

  15. I don’t have a job but do everything from home. I find I have to write what I do and eat in a journal to keep myself together. I refuse to get in a slump of not taking care of myself.

  16. Reblogged this on Graffito and commented:
    One of the big issues of working from home! Another for me is arranging meals when I’m in the midst of a big project with a fast-approaching deadline.

  17. I blogged about these same issues some time ago. It’s nice to see you putting it out there again. Everything you touched on is unfortunately true for many writers. We have so much to contend with in life and then for our writing that mornings turn quickly into evenings. I realized a lot of these things when I began writing my first book. The scattered eating habits, the comfort of my sweat pants, not to mention an aching back, and putting much of life on hold. I called myself on it all after the first year and worked on getting my priorities about myself straightened out. I disciplined my eating habits and fit back in my long time exercise regime which was getting sadly neglected. I work out in the mornings now before I plant myself on the computer and eat meals at the proper times. I feel better about myself again and no longer dread the times I actually get to go out and don’t have to worry about if my pants will fit. 🙂

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