How Does Hybrid Working Affect the Body?

Hybrid working enables employees to divide their time between working from the comfort of their homes or any other remote location and working from the physical office of the company. 

Due to the progress in internet and mobile technology, this method of working has gained widespread acceptance and allows employees to stay connected and productive regardless of their location. 

This blend of remote and in-office work can have different impacts on your body. Let’s explore the benefits and disadvantages of a hybrid work setup.

Benefits of Hybrid Working on the Body

Cutting down on daily travel time can help reduce exhaustion and anxiety, resulting in improved health. With less time spent commuting, employees have the opportunity to get extra rest. Research conducted by the IWG has found that hybrid workers have gained an additional 71 hours of sleep annually due to fewer commutes.

Hybrid work offers the opportunity to prioritise exercise and physical activities, resulting in enhanced physical health. With less time spent commuting, there is also more room for family and social engagements. Achieving a better work-life balance can contribute to better mental health and decreased stress levels.

Working from home gives you the freedom to set up a workspace that is tailored to your needs, providing ergonomic advantages. You can design a workspace that fits you perfectly, helping to prevent strain and injuries. Additionally, you have the ability to control factors like temperature, lighting, and seating, making your work environment more comfortable and less stressful.

Negative Effects of Hybrid Working on the Body

Spending excessive time in a seated position and limited physical movement can be attributed to remote work. This sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of various health problems including obesity, heart disease, and musculoskeletal issues. 

Additionally, inadequate ergonomic equipment in home workspaces can result in poor posture and discomfort in the neck, back, and shoulders due to improperly arranged setups.

Hybrid work setups can also create difficulties when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet because of shifts in schedules and food accessibility. These changes can result in missed meals or erratic eating habits. When working remotely, it’s common to snack unhealthily and eat without thinking, leading to less water intake compared to those in a traditional office setting who have regular water breaks.

Hybrid working can impact not just the physical body, but also mental health. Reduced face-to-face interactions with co-workers may result in feelings of isolation and loneliness, impacting mental well-being. Moreover, the merging of work and personal life boundaries can lead to excessive work, burnout, and stress.

How to Make Hybrid Working Easier on the Body

It’s important to consider the negative effects that hybrid working can have on your body so you can take steps to reduce them and improve your overall physical and mental health.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining good physical and mental health. It helps with weight management, heart health, blood pressure, and reducing the risk of heart disease. Exercise also strengthens muscles and bones, improving flexibility and posture to prevent injuries. 

Additionally, regular exercise has a positive impact on mental well-being. It helps by reducing stress, boosting mood, enhancing brain function, improving memory and concentration, and promoting better sleep.

Take Regular Breaks

Taking regular breaks helps maintain both physical and mental health, especially when we spend long periods of time in front of screens and sitting for extended periods. By incorporating short and frequent breaks into our routine, we can improve our focus and productivity, avoiding a decrease in performance or exhaustion by allowing ourselves time to rest and recharge.

Furthermore, breaks encourage movement, which helps counteract the negative effects of prolonged sitting, such as muscle stiffness, poor posture, and circulatory issues.

Consider your Home Setup

An ergonomic desk setup is crucial for comfort, productivity, and health. It reduces the risk of musculoskeletal issues like back pain, neck strain, and Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs). 

Good ergonomics also improves posture, circulation, and reduces strain on muscles and joints. Key parts of an ergonomic setup include:

  • Adjusting your chair to ensure your feet are flat on the floor or on a footrest, with your thighs parallel to the ground. 
  • Ensuring there is proper support for your lower back to maintain its natural curve.
  • Adjusting armrests for comfortable typing and mouse use. 
  • Having your desk so that it allows for a 90-degree angle at your elbows and keeping your wrists straight when typing, with enough space for monitors, keyboard, and arm movement. 
  • Positioning the top of the monitor at or slightly below eye level and at arm’s length away. 
  • Positioning your workstation for natural light without screen glare.

Eat Healthily

Eating a well-rounded diet provides our bodies with the necessary nutrients to support various bodily functions, including boosting our immune system to help fight off infections and diseases. 

It also plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy weight, reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, while also relieving strain on muscles and bones caused by excess weight. 

In addition, consuming nutrient-rich foods not only benefits brain health and cognitive function but also improves focus, mood, and mental sharpness.

Keep in Touch with Family, Friends & Colleagues

Keeping in touch with people is essential for maintaining social connections, fostering relationships, and supporting mental well-being, especially in a hybrid working environment where physical interactions may be limited.

Regularly reaching out can combat feelings of loneliness and isolation, ultimately benefiting mental well-being. 

Consult a Professional

Morley Chiropractic Clinic, located near Leeds, has been assisting patients in the area since 1996. Our chiropractors provide guidance on various concerns such as neck and lower back pain, nutrition, and mental health support.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help, get in touch with the team today.

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