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Home Office Fitness and the Health Benefits it Brings

21 April 2021

Nowadays, more and more people have been forced to work at home or look into telecommuting as a way to prevent illness. There is the benefit of convenience, personal health safety, and supporting the prevention of spreading of Covid 19 in doing this. Other than that, telecommuting also entails other fringe benefits like being able to dress casually, look after the children, if any, while working and being able to cook and eat healthy for the entire family. It's a good way for parents or people living with partners or family to  multitask while not sacrificing financial gains. 

According to Global Workspace Analytics and Flexjobs that has surveyed American workers, there are 3.9 million employees who have been telecommuting 50% or more in their respective jobs in 2017. This represents around 3% of the entire labor force in the US. Since 2005, the statistics for telecommuting workers have exponentially jumped to 115%. It has also been surveyed that half of the participants are above the age of 45 and more than half of them have a relevant Bachelor's degree in the field they are working on. Having said that, they are also found to be earning $4,000 usd more than those who are working in office annually. Add to this is the lesser expense of opting for the latter.

Telecommuting is an arrangement with the company one works for where the employee is given their tasks and duties to work outside the premises of the office. This could mean at the employees home, coffee shops, vacation homes, library or other places like rentable  co-working places. Some even take this further by working near the beach or in rural areas for more calm and focus. Telecommuting has been said to be a cause for higher employee satisfaction. That would mean lower turnover and higher productivity and efficiency for the company. Apart from that, there is also work and life balance. As the employee is outside the office and everything they need is  conveniently in proximity to them, balance can be achieved. Operational costs like large office rent, electricity, power and pantry food is also greatly reduced by telecommuting. Not only that, this also reduces the employees expenses also. The time and cost of commuting or driving to work is reduced to zero. The expense of having food delivered or eating out is cut off. This way, there is no other things to think about but to focus on work since no commuting and stress in preparing in the mornings are needed. 

However, with all its excellent advantages there are also disadvantages in telecommuting. Performance monitoring and employee support and supervision could be quite a complex and challenging task to do. There is also a risk of not being focused at work and getting distracted by family life or entertainment while at home. On the polar opposite side of the spectrum, an employee could also be putting in more work and more time on work than necessary without the paid overtime. Social interaction and interpersonal relationships with colleagues can also suffer with telecommuting. Identification of employees to their company and its mission and vision can also be affected at some degree. Depending on the capability of the company to provide equipment and internet access, it would also be difficult for some employees to work without access to these which are readily available at their company’s office. Telecommuting could also contribute to a sedentary lifestyle. 

A sedentary lifestyle has been scientifically proven to increase the causes of human mortality. According to the World Health Organization, it increases the risk of heart problems twice. Other risks may include colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders and even mental health issues like depression and anxiety. The risk for obesity and diabetes is also high. As a remedy, it is recommended to incorporate physical activity even while telecommuting. An individual can opt for cycling and running in place or do some weight training. It doesn’t need to be high intensity as one can go for the minimum physical activity guidelines. This is around three repetitions of 30 minute runs and two sets of 30 minute strength training exercises every week. 

Believe it or not, you can incorporate physical activity while working at home even if gyms are closed. In FlexiSpot, you can find a lot of home office chairs and other equipments that will boost your physical health while staying on top of your game at work. There is the Sit2Go 2-in-1 Fitness Chair, which you can use to cycle while doing your work or in between work. It has a breathable mesh backrest so it would not feel too hot against your skin. The seat cushion will also support your weight and comfort while working. Its height adjustable seat will also conform to one's size and height. It also cycles quietly and smoothly, so you will not lose focus and would also not disturb any noise sensitive individuals around you. Thus, you can stay healthy and also save time. Not only that, since the chair is height adjustable, anyone in the family will be able to use it.

There are also other products that you can use to stave off that sedentary lifestyle while at home. There is the Home office All-in-One Desk Bike/Bike Workstation V9. This is an incredible product where you can have your laptop right in front of you while cycling on the same workstation. There is also the Under Desk Bike V9U -- Best Standing Desk Mate, which is best paired with the Standing Desk Mate. You can balance both your work and exercise on the one machine. You can stay alert and productive using this.  Still not sure if any of these is the right product for you? You can see it for yourself and apply for a free trial of FlexiSpot products. Overall, being on the move even while working at home is a great idea. You can control your weight, lessen the risk of diseases that increase mortality and lifelong medication, improve your mood and mental health. While working, it keeps you focused, helps in the absorption of new knowledge and skills, helps your analytical thinking and overall judgement.