Don’t let freelance life damage your health. Make sure you employ these principles of ergonomic best practice in your daily routine to stay in top condition…
Though there are many perks to being a freelancer, the fact you typically need to cover sick days yourself means you have to take care of your health more than most.
Given that you can work from virtually anywhere, it can seem like a good idea to forgo proper ergonomic practices in favour of working in your pyjamas from bed, but this is unlikely to be the best thing for your body…
Use a proper chair
Though the prospect of working from various comfortable and cosy spots can be tempting, it’s best to make sure you’re not compromising on taking care of your body. Your back, particularly your spine, is the most important part of your body, and developing a twinge can lead to serious problems down the line. If you can, use a proper office chair designed with ergonomics in mind to make sure you’re not misaligning anything in your back. Problems in your back can take a long time to heal, given that you use it every day whether standing, sitting or lying down, so it’s best to take care of it from the start. Adding a foot support can help keep things in line as well.
Support your wrists
Your hands and wrists are among the most important parts of your body as a digital nomad. Keeping your wrists strong and flexible is key for maintaining your health and your business, so it’s worth your while to invest in some wrist supports. You can buy a wrist rest for both your keyboard and your mouse, then type away to your heart’s content without compromising on comfort. Make sure you’re sitting in the correct position for your wrists to be aligned perfectly for your keyboard – they shouldn’t feel strained as you type.
Use the right desk
It might seem a little silly, given that you can work from nearly anywhere in the world as a freelancer, but make sure you have access to a desk or table that has enough space for you. Nothing is more annoying or mentally taxing than having to sift through a pile of paperwork or knocking over a coffee when trying to meet a deadline. It’s also key that your desk is aligned properly for your back and wrists to best support your posture if you’re working for long periods sat down. Make sure it’s the right height, so that you’re not hunched over or straining to reach the keyboard, and give yourself some breathing room. This will help with your mental, as well as physical health.
Take regular breaks
It can seem counterintuitive to take regular breaks when you’re toiling away to finish work on time. Plus if you’re out and about in a less than conventional work space, there can be worries over leaving things. To counter this, why not use a coworking space where you can leave your items without fear of losing your spot to work, and socialise a little with other freelancers? Breaks are vital for helping the body and mind to heal. There are plenty of spots around the world for you to work from that have all the best ergonomic practices in place.
Make sure your light source is suitable
There’s nothing worse for your eyes than working in a darkened space without a suitable light source. Eye strain in the wrong light conditions can lead to headaches, migraines and other feelings of tension, not to mention put a damper on your work day. Make sure that you have enough suitable light for your working space. Ideally, daylight is best, as it can help you feel awake and motivated, as well as helping your eyes stay focused. However, not all work spaces will have access to daylight, so make sure you have enough artificial light in the area you’re working in to make up for that lack of natural light.