Even though most of us have transitioned to working at the office more often now, the bulk of our time is still spent at home or remotely. Working from home (WFH) can bring about convenience and comfort, but these luxuries might be encouraging the growth of bad habits such as poor posture, the lack of motivation to exercise and even frequent orders of take-out.

However, the extra free time and more flexible schedule also present the opportunity to improve on cultivating more positive life habits by practicing proper posture whilst working, exercising more adequately and consuming a balanced and healthy diet.

Practicing proper posture

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Let’s be real: Even with proper chairs at the office, you are probably hunched over your desk for the majority of the time. And it goes without saying that when at home, you’re more likely to be laying on the couch or bed whilst working. Despite the seemingly comfortable position, you could be harming your back, spine and neck unknowingly in the long run.

With the prolonged period of WFH, it’s a good time to practice proper posture, both at home and when at the office. When it comes to using your computer, some beneficial tips to follow are to have your screen be around eye level and placed at an arm’s length away.

Whilst ergonomic chairs are good options because they are designed to support your posture, their price tags can get pretty expensive. Don’t fret though, because you can still make use of a basic chair that you already own by making a few adjustments like placing a pillow on the base or behind your lower back for more comfort. Don’t forget to maintain an upright posture and avoid slouching when sitting down.

Getting adequate exercise

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If you’ve been attributing your lack of exercise due to the busy work week, this WFH period gives you a chance to enjoy a more flexible schedule. You might be more prone to lazing around, but you can learn how to make use of the extra time to kickstart a fitness routine.

Instead of having to rush to the office whenever you are late in the morning, you can appreciate a more leisurely start to your day. To feel more rejuvenated and help stretch out your muscles before work, try doing a simple yoga session paired with a calming playlist.

If lunchtime workouts are your thing, you can even complete a 10 to 20 minutes exercise session to get your heart pumping. And the best part? The shower is just a few steps away. When it gets cooler during the evening, it can also be a good time to unwind from the workday with a light jog at your nearby park.

Of course, it’s not necessary to exercise throughout the day, but keeping adequately active is good for your body. If you hope to keep this habit of keeping fit even when back-to-office resumes full-time, WFH is a good time to train yourself to be more resilient in sticking to a workout schedule.

Having a more balanced and healthy diet

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Back when going to the office was a daily routine, the highlight of the day for many was probably grabbing a coffee from Starbucks or indulging in bubble tea during breaks, followed by hanging out with friends over dinner. This meant that our diets most likely consisted of sugary or caffeinated drinks and snacks on top of salty and oily food.

But now that we’re spending more time at home, we can make time to focus on cultivating a more balanced and healthy diet by preparing some of our own meals.

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According to the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s My Healthy Plate guide, a balanced and healthy diet consists of (theoretically) filling half of your plate with fruit and vegetables, whilst the two remaining quarters belong to whole-grains as well as meat and others.

For whole-grains, which are brown rice and wholemeal bread, it is recommended to consume five to seven servings a day. Under fruit and vegetables, you should ideally have two servings a day for both your fruit and greens. Lastly, with meat and others (e.g. meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, bean products and low-fat dairy products), you should try to hit two to three servings a day. For examples of how one serving is like for the different food types, check out MOH’s Healthy Diet Meal Plan.

Of course, we get that it’s not realistic to only stick to consuming something home-cooked for every meal. But even when dining out, a good habit to practice is to limit your oil, salt, sugar and alcohol consumption along with sticking to a more balanced diet.

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