Many people make it a goal to become a full-time freelancer due to the many perks, including a flexible schedule, freedom to do what you love, and the opportunity to work from anywhere.
It is a very rewarding prospect, but you must also be careful or you could put your body and mind in potential jeopardy.
The good news is you can avoid most of the overlooked health aspects of a freelance job by being aware of the dangers and taking steps to avoid them.
While you may not always be engaging in physical labor, the fact of the matter is that you can face injury just by sitting too long in your office chair or staring at your computer monitor all day.
These are not good aspects of health when you work from home.
The good news is that you can avoid most of the overlooked health aspects of a freelance job by simply being aware of the dangers and taking the right steps to avoid them.
Let’s talk about the health aspects to live a healthier and more productive lifestyle.
3 Aspects of Health Freelancers Aren’t Prioritizing At All
Freelancers need to make sure they keep up with their physical fitness, get enough rest and limit their screen time.
Here are some tips for staying healthy as a freelancer
1. The Risks Of Sitting At Your Desk
It’s important that you have a proper desk and computer workspace available so you can mitigate the chances of danger.
From the moment you sit down, you could be doing your body harm.
Many freelancers begin to feel back and neck pain soon after starting the job, and that is because they don’t have a supportive office chair.
Best Ergonomic Office Chair: Amazon’s Basic Mesh Office Chair
When you sit, your back and neck should be straight and your feet should be flat on the floor.
This way, you are avoiding extra strain on your back and you may even find yourself being more productive since you won’t feel the pain.
Even if you have the proper chair, you can do unintentional harm to your body by sitting and working for too long without taking breaks.
When you are stationary for long periods of time, your body starts to react negatively to the lack of movement, often resulting in reduced blood circulation and atrophy of the muscles.
Because of these negative effects, you will begin to feel weaker, and if you keep up this habit for weeks, months, or years, you could start to experience other dangerous side effects, such as tight hips, weight gain, and an increased risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
For this reason, maybe an ergonomic kneeling chair would help with aspects of health for you.
Have you ever worked for so long that your eyes started to hurt?
That sensation is typical due to a condition called dry eye, which often occurs when you stare too long at your screen without blinking, so you are not creating adequate lubrication.
Failure to change this behavior could lead to health issues down the road, such as cataracts, eye inflammation, and even eventual vision loss.
To avoid dry eye from becoming an issue, make it a practice to follow the 20-20-20 rule, where you take a break every 20 minutes to look away from your screen and at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
2. Lack Of Movement
Sitting down all day can also lead to a lack of exercise and proper nutrition.
It’s easy to fall into this trap because when we work from home, we tend to forget to get up for breaks and lunches like one would at a physical office, but you must avoid the trap.
Even if you are too busy during the day, make it a habit to wake up early and get in at least 20 minutes of exercise each morning with a combination of cardio and light weights are what make good aspects of health.
Not only will this routine keep you strong, but exercise can also provide the natural energy boost that we often need in the morning.
Then there is the nutrition aspect. When we work for long hours at our desks, we often also forget to take a moment to eat a healthy meal.
It is far too easy for us to rely on snacks and candy bars to get us through a long day at our desks, but it is important to get up, go to the kitchen, and prepare a proper breakfast and lunch.
To stay slim and feel energetic throughout the day, focus on a diet of lean proteins (chicken and fish), whole grains, and seeds and nuts for snacks.
It is also important that you don’t only rely on coffee and energy drinks and that you supplement those beverages with plenty of water.
Experts recommend that males drink about 3.7 liters and women drink 2.7 liters of water a day in order to be properly hydrated.
Water is essential because it helps to retain your body temperature and reduce the chance of unwanted ailments, such as constipation and kidney stones.
Water is also essential for digesting what we eat and drink. You can avoid dehydration by getting up once per hour, walking around the house, and grabbing a glass of water.
3. Potential Mental Issues
While you may have heard of some of the physical dangers listed above, many people don’t realize that if you are not careful, there are also some mental health issues that could come to the surface when working as a freelancer, and loneliness is a big one. If you work alone without human contact for too long then there is a chance that you can start to feel anxiety or depression.
That is why it is important to take those breaks to talk to friends or family to stay grounded as a way to prioritize aspects of health.
If your freelance business is well established, then you may also experience feelings of burnout or stress as you try to stay on top of your growing task list.
When this happens, many people feel that they need to work 14 hour days just to keep up, but the lack of a work/life balance will only compound your issues.
Instead, you need to make it a habit of starting and ending your workday at the same time every day and extend timelines with your clients if necessary so you have time to breathe.
Positive Aspects of Health Gained From Freelance Work
Keep in mind that this article is not here to discourage you from freelance work, but to ensure that you can stay productive and keep your health as the priority.
Freelancing can be a very rewarding lifestyle and you’ll learn a lot as you continue to grow your business, including many essential soft skills that you cannot learn in book, such as the ability to manage your time, think creatively, and appreciate the value of hard work.
In the end, a willingness to learn and succeed paired with the ability to prioritize your health will create the perfect combination for freelance success.
Stay safe and good luck with your exciting endeavor!
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