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Freelance Work and Your Health

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 30 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Freelance Work And Your Health

Freelance work can be hazardous to your health – if you let it be! To make sure that you take care of yourself while you freelance, invest in proper equipment, take frequent breaks from looking at your computer, establish a healthy eating regime, build exercise into your daily schedule and make sure that you plan for some free time so that you are not caught working all day every day and have some time to relax.

Invest In Proper Equipment

It can be tempting to set up a freelance business from an old kitchen table and to promise yourself proper equipment later, but each day you delay in purchasing proper equipment the greater your chances of damaging your health. As soon as possible, invest in ergonomic office furniture, including a desk chair, desk and even computer keyboard if you have to. Only when you can sit comfortably and in an upright position, reaching your desks at a comfortable angle, can you begin to alleviate the aches, pains and soreness that often accompanies longer hours spent pouring over your work.

Take Frequent Breaks From The Computer

When you begin to freelance you’ll likely try to push yourself to finish just one more task, then just one more after that, before you take a break. After all, time is money so those breaks you take aren’t going to help you earn any. But don’t forget your good health in the equation. Eyestrain can be a typical complaint from freelance workers who spend a great deal of time reading and looking at a computer screen. To alleviate this strain, take frequent breaks from the computer and even close or cup your hands over your eyes for a few minutes.

Establish A Healthy Eating Regime

Freelancers who work from home are notorious for packing on a few pounds when they first establish their home office. This is generally because they suddenly enjoy unfettered access to snacks and can whip up whatever they want, whenever they want, for meals. To avoid piling on extra weight, or turning to unhealthy meals and snacks, establish a healthy eating regime early in your freelance career and your health will likely thank you for it later.

Build Exercise Into Your Daily Schedule

When you work from home it can become tempting to stay inside all the time. After all, if you don’t go anywhere you don’t have to get dressed, devote time to commuting or brave the inclement weather. But staying indoors often promotes a lethargic lifestyle, so try to get out and moving each day. Even a brisk, 30 minute walk per day is enough to set you on the road to good health. When the weather does become bad, consider an exercise tape or treadmill that you can work out on at home. Remember, working up a sweat often works up some inspiring ideas too, so you may find that your work comes a little bit easier after you work out.

Plan for Some Free Time Each Day

No matter how much you love your freelance work you need to step away from it each day. The lines between work and life often become blurred for freelancers, so make the conscious decision to plan some free time for hobbies and socialising. This may mean leaving your home office at a particular time or shutting off your computer so that you won’t be tempted to check emails. Whatever you have to do to give yourself free time with a clear mind, do it. Also try to find a hobby or activity that gets you out into the community and socialising with new people. Freelance worker can be very isolating, so looking for opportunity to socialise is always a good idea for a freelancer.

Freelance work can have adverse health effects, but only if you let it. By investing in proper equipment, taking frequent breaks from the computer, establishing a health eating regime, building exercise into your daily schedule and planning for some free time each day you can minimise many of the health risks that accompany freelance work and set your mind at ease that you are on the road to good health.

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