Earlier this spring during the COVID-19 outbreak, employees across the country were sent home to work remotely to help slow the spread of the virus. The first couple days may have been exciting as you realized you could make a fresh salad at lunch or knock out tasks without the temptation and distraction of chatter from your co-workers. But soon you realized your chair at the office was a lot more comfortable, and that it was all too easy to slink into the couch at the end of the day to binge hours of the latest Netflix flick.
We recently spoke with Dr. Paul Gomez of Gomez Chiropractic in Sand Springs, who shared lots of helpful information to help Sandites stay healthy while working from home (or even upon your return to the office).
Dr. Gomez says that most people who are working from home that don’t normally do so are probably sitting at their kitchen tables with their laptops. “Kitchen chairs are not made to be in for more than an hour,” Dr. Gomez says, “[so take] frequent breaks to get up and walk around, even if it’s [just] to get a drink of water.”
Regular stretching and exercise can help, too. “Physical exercise is important, especially when working from home [since] most people are less active compared to [when they are] going to the office,” Dr. Gomez says. Dr. Gomez recommends scheduling your exercise because “if you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen.”
Set a reminder on your phone or block off the time on your desk calendar for daily walks, which help “break up the monotony of sitting in one position all day,” or another physical activity like running, lifting weights, playing basketball, or personal challenges to do a certain amount of jumping jacks or push-ups. If you can, exercise outside since “vitamin D is great for the immune system.” Dr. Gomez says our bodies can produce vitamin D on their own if we spend 20-30 minutes out each day in a short-sleeve shirt.
It’s also important to eat well and consume water frequently. Dr. Gomez recommends decreasing the amount of processed foods you eat and increasing your vegetable intake as well as drinking half your body weight in water. (If someone weighs 200 pounds, they should attempt to drink 100 ounces of water daily.)
As you’re working, take note of your posture. According to Dr. Gomez, improper posture can cause headaches, neck pain, burning between the shoulder blades, and lower back pain. If you plan to work from home indefinitely, consider investing in an “ergonomic chair that’s designed for the workplace” to improve and encourage continuous proper posture.
Since the pandemic started, many people have reported an increase in stress, too. “Stress has many effects on the body,” Dr. Gomez says. “Stress can reduce the efficiency of your immune system making you more vulnerable to illnesses and diseases, [plus] stress over longer periods of time can damage your adrenal glands and cause weight gain, insomnia, and a decreased sex drive.”
Dr. Gomez notes that meditation is a proven method to decrease stress. “Personally, I take the first 45 minutes of my day to pray and read,” Dr. Gomez says. “Victory Church has a daily reading plan posted on their website, and it even reads [the text] to you if you want.”
“I [want to] thank the medical doctors, nurses, and other medical staff for their bravery and all they have done in this time,” Dr. Gomez says. “We will get through this!”
Currently, Gomez Chiropractic is open and Dr. Gomez is accepting new patients. “Getting adjusted is a great way to boost your immune system,” Dr. Gomez says, “and the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918 is a great example of how chiropractors have been extremely effective in boosting the immune system.”
With these tips from Dr. Gomez, Sandites who are working away from the office can achieve or maintain total wellness from the comfort of home.