Make your home office the best place for your professional productivity and personal health.
Doctors now say sitting the new smoking, and that an increase in activity is shown to mitigate known risks of sedentary life like heart disease and cancer. What does that have to do with a home office, you ask? Plenty.
Historically, office work environments revolve around sitting at a desk, cranking out your day’s duties. But when you work from home, you have much more flexibility in how you optimize your workspace, organizing your office so that you can work efficiently and comfortably. If you take inspiration from nature as you think and blast through that to-do list, set your desk by the window and let the sounds and scenes of the outdoors help your gears turn. If you need quiet or maybe lower lighting, install hefty curtains, and try to set up your home workspace further from the busiest and noisier parts of your house like the kitchen and living room. Perhaps you need physical cues and reminders to keep your thoughts progressing and your schedule organized—set up tools and surfaces that visualize your priorities and thought processes as you work.
But finally, don’t forget to try for non-sedentary work positions, like a desk that can be elevated so you can stand, even a treadmill or a nearby walkable area that allows you to take a break from being seated as you either continue your work or step back from the computer to think through a mental block. You might feel skeptical of this idea that hybridizes the idea of movement while working, but research has demonstrated that walking boosts mental creativity.
Consider how you design your workspace—make it hospitable to your needs for focused mental productivity as you find its place in your home, and in relation to outside stimuli. And don’t forget that with that treadmill nearby or a brisk stroll down the street for a coffee, even to check the mail and stretch your legs, you’ll be doing your body and mind a favor—decreasing the risk of the very real complications that the overly sedentary life threatens, as well as fostering a sharper, problem-solving mind.