A blog for the work-at-home professional by a work-at-home professional.


Most people think that work-at-home professionals are less-exposed to health hazards because they work in the safest possible place they can be — their home.  But what’s the real score?  Could working at home expose you to some health risks?  Listed below are some health conditions that a work-at-home professional may be prone to.

  • OBESITY - This could be one of the most common health problems that a work-at-home professional could have.  Obesity may be due to inactivity.  The work-at-home professional usually tends to sit for long periods.  Also, the snacking is easy to do at home because there are no imposed restrictions with regard to bringing food at the workstation (unlike in offices).  You can have a bag of greasy, salty potato chips or sugary cookies right beside your laptop or desktop computer.  As most of us know, obesity can lead to a lot of serious health conditions like hypertension, diabetes, heart problems, etc.
  • BACK PROBLEM - Sitting for many hours can strain your back.  Spinal disc herniation, sometimes called "slipped disk," can result from prolonged sitting.
  • DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS - This is also caused by prolonged inactivity or being on your butt for long periods.  DVTs are usually the culprits behind strokes and heart attacks.
  • STRESS - When you work at home, the line between your home life and your professional life becomes blurred.  Mixing your concerns at work and at home could double the stress levels that you usually experience in an office outside your home.
  • INSOMNIA/SLEEP DEPRIVATION -  A lot of work-at-home professionals are workaholic (like me).  We think it’s okay to spend more than 10 hours on the job just because we work at home.  Sometimes, we try to get by with just four hours of sleep. But what can lack of sleep do to the body?  Headaches, increased blood pressure, increased risk of diabetes, increased risk of fibromyalgia, memory lapses or loss, and obesity are just a few of the effects of sleep deprivation.
  • CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME - Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the compression of the median nerve traveling through the carpal tunnel.  The symptoms include numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in the thumb and fingers.  Work-at-home professionals who work online do a lot of typing.  Poorly positioned wrists while typing could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. 

As the time-honored adage goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Listed below are ways to prevent the above-mentioned health conditions.

1) SET A SCHEDULE FOR EXERCISE - You don’t have to spend a full hour at the gym although that would be great.  A 30-minute walk would suffice. 

2) MOVE AROUND A LITTLE BIT FROM TIME TO TIME - As you may have noticed while reading the preceding paragraphs, prolonged inactivity increases your risks of having three health conditions mentioned above.  You need to get off your butt once in a while.  Take a 5 to 10-minute break in between tasks and try to do some stretching exercises or simple calisthenics.  Or you can walk around your office. 

3) CONTROL YOUR EATING HABITS -  Try not to eat while working.  Have a definite schedule for your snack time.  However, if you must munch on something from time to time, have some fruits and nuts instead of chips or cookies.  Avoid junk food at all costs.

4) DEFINE BOUNDARIES -  Talk to your family members about your job.  Tell them that you can only be disturbed during your working hours if there’s a life-and-death situation.  As much as possible, don’t let the concerns at home seep into the concerns at work and vice versa.  You should draw the line between work and home life.

5) GET ENOUGH SLEEP - Make time for power naps.  Getting enough sleep will help you perform better at work.

6) LEARN OFFICE ERGONOMIC BEST PRACTICES AND APPLY THEM AT WORK - Here is a short video from YouTube that will teach you some of the basics of office ergonomics.

Remember, health is wealth. You don't want to spend your hard-earned money on medicines, doctor's fees and hospitalization. Knowing the health hazards of working at home and how to overcome them, you can now adopt health and safety practices while on the job.


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