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How to make your home a healthy workspace in 2021

With at least a few more months of quarantine life ahead of us, a little smart reordering can go a long way to making working from home manageable.

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Working from home for months at a time can take a serious toll on your health, both physical and emotional. And yet, with COVID-19 reshaping modern life, that's exactly what many of us had to do in 2020. The year is new, and vaccines are slowly rolling out, but working from home is still a reality for the time being -- and could be through most of 2021.

Luckily, humans are adaptable, and we've learned a lot over the past year. A few creative solutions can really change working from home for the better, making it more sustainable as we work toward a vaccine, and healthier in the meantime.

Here are six tips on making your home a healthier workspace in 2021.

Create distinct spaces

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One of the biggest challenges with working from home is maintaining a health boundary between work and home. One way to do this is to clearly demark an area that is work-only, and try to keep your work from spilling into the areas you rely on for relaxing and de-stressing.

Even if you're only in a studio apartment, keeping your laptop to a corner desk or table and keeping work away from your bed or couch can help you establish the boundaries you need for maintaining mental health during a highly stressful time.

Work near natural light and plants

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Whether you're hunched in front of a laptop all day, or shooting videos like some of my colleagues, natural light and plants can go a long way toward making your home work space feel less claustrophobic.

Even if you don't have a great view out your window, pulling your desk a little closer to those natural light sources can make a big difference.

Keep a glass of water nearby

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It's easy for time to blend together these days, and when you lose track of time, it's also easy to lose track of how much you're eating and drinking.

Keeping a glass of water on hand (you can add sliced lemons or a straw for easy sipping if you want) helps you stay hydrated, leading to fewer headaches and a healthier body in general.

Find a comfortable chair

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Ergonomics matter, and even if you can't afford to buy a new office chair, finding the most comfortable position to sit during long work days can make a world of difference.

If you already have an office chair, using a pillow for lower back support might not be a bad choice.

Move during the day

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Whether you're just taking a quick lap around the house, a 15-minute walk outside or a full-on midday workout, injecting some activity into your daily work routine can help break up the monotony and fight off the effects of sedentary life.

I keep a pull-up bar and various other cheap exercise equipment around the house and make it a habit to do a few reps each time I pass them throughout the day.

Give yourself a little grace


Lockdown life can be hard, and it'd be disingenuous to act like any of these solutions will totally solve those challenges. Plus, each of us is dealing with our own challenges, whether we're stuck in small apartments, living with extended family, raising small children or dealing with prolonged isolation.

While it's important to try to take care of your body and draw boundaries between work and the rest of your life, things sometimes break down. And that's okay. Just like cheat days can make healthy eating a little easier, occasionally bending rules to give yourself, say, a day working in bed, is OK.

I usually give myself Fridays to bend the rules a little, both in terms of what I eat and how I work. I don't exercise on Fridays, and I usually chill in bed for part of the day -- and giving myself a scheduled day to break those rules has made it easier to keep to them the rest of the time.

These are only a handful of the tips I've learned in the past 9 months since beginning to work from home. If you've found other ones, share them in the comments.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.