Most EFL tutors experience health-related problems such as:
● obesity caused by a sedentary lifestyle: Most WFH EFL tutors are stress eaters. Due to some technical problems or class management problems, tutors resort to overeating to relieve stress without limits. Another, some of them crave sweets more to feel better and because of limited physical activities, EFL tutors find it difficult to lose weight especially with the current WFH setting.
● stomach problems caused by improper eating behavior: Due to unfixed class schedules, EFL tutors experience stomach pain when at work. Some feel like there are butterflies in their stomach but the truth is they begin to develop conditions in their stomach that cause gastrointestinal problems.
● kidney problems: When you are an EFL tutor, you would experience irregular toilet breaks especially when you cannot put on hold the class because the client needs to finish an activity within 20 minutes or more. This causes health problems particularly kidney problems.
● ergonomic problems caused by habitual and improper sitting position:
Most EFL tutors experience this kind of problem especially those who usually have 10-20 students per day. So, imagine that for every student there is a specific teaching approach needed and every one of them needs certain attention and care. There comes a time that the teacher spends more than 4 hours in front of the computer doing daily class reports and class materials. This creates havoc on their spine and lumbar.
For these reasons, we are going to discuss how EFL tutors can keep an active lifestyle despite the sedentary activities that they do every day. Aside from that, we will talk about the effects of sedentary activities on the mental health of the worker and the effectiveness of two reliable innovations from Flexispot which are the Height Adjustable Whiteboard Standing Desk and the Under Desk V9 to WFH workers- the EFL tutors to be exact. So, let's start this talk now.
I.The Effects of Sedentary Activities on the Mental Health of EFL Tutors:
As mentioned in the previous articles, a sedentary lifestyle does not just hamper the physical health of a worker but his mental health as well. The work challenges that WFH individual experiences are the class management problems that they encounter at work; one of these is the complaints of clients in terms of the study approach. Due to the differences in their personalities plus other factors such as their preferences with the class materials, tutors come face to face with hazards that do not manifest physically but mentally. Just a reminder though, the following effects are what most of my colleagues from three different companies experienced and shared during seminars and healthy discussions. So, here are those examples:
● mental fatigue: Have you experienced getting exhausted even without moving the whole body too much? That's what most EFL tutors experience. After having students with different cognitive levels and study behavior, the energy of the tutor depletes. As a running joke in the industry: EFL tutors are performers-we are like soldiers at 7 pm and gregarious teenagers at 9 pm. Thus, at the end of the shift, teachers can't even decide what to have for dinner and just prefers to sleep.
● confusion: In some cases, when internet connection problems arise, as well as miscommunication and conflicting schedules, confusion takes place alongside. These things trigger stress and make the teacher burned out.
● melancholy and the feeling of being unmotivated: Whenever the problems mentioned above arise, some tutors who find it more difficult to adapt to changes become drained at first then lose connection to the group. Some confessed during the sharing that they were times that they felt unmotivated in class and could not remain perky at times. Thus, some prefer to tender their resignation instead. Some even fall into a melancholy which hampers not just their work but their interpersonal skills.
The following effects hamper the EFL tutors' mental health. These affect their performance in class. What's crucial about this is the possibility of the classes being affected. It is felt by the student especially with the Phonics classes where teachers are required to be extra energetic in introducing CVC words or basic English greetings. Thus, the tutor must find a stress reliever during work hours. This might be through different activities such as:
II. Effective and Healthy Stress-Relieving Activities:
drawing and coloring: There are numerous adult coloring books in the stationery stores. Putting this on the corner of the Whiteboard Standing Desk together with the other class materials could give the tutor easy access especially when he feels stressed. One does not worry about what to do with the other office staff during classes because this standing desk could be converted into a functional whiteboard. Just place the other office stuff in safe storage properly while having classes and one is good to go,
● writing on a journal: This is done by some EFL tutors. This is an effective way to release stress or fatigue because one can mobilize his hand while pouring out his feelings on the journal.
● releasing pressure using tools like the stress ball or plush toys: In an article from the UK. It was stated that hotel management had reported tons of left stuffed toys in the hotel rooms. Most of the English male guests used to leave these stuffed toys. According to the article, It is because part of the English culture is the love for stuffed toys. Since childhood, English children get used to hugging teddy bears when they sleep. They say these teddy bears become their confidants. Hence, if you have watched the comedy series of Mr. Bean, he showed a practice in the UK that is part of the English culture: the love for teddy bears. According to them, this makes them feel safe and relieved. Thus, if this would be practiced in the EFL industry, tutors would be able to transmit their feelings and emotions.
● exercising while at work: Now, let us take a look at the role of the two premium equipment from Flexispot- the Height Adjustable Whiteboard Standing Desk and the Under Desk Bike V9. These equipment pieces could turn the downtime into an uptime at work. Thus, one could relieve stress by using a convertible whiteboard standing desk that could be used during lectures or a desk bike that could be pedaled while finishing a report.
These things could help an EFL tutor sustain grace under pressure. With the right product combination, one could stay perky throughout their classes.