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The freedom of freelancing can help some people live a healthier lifestyle – fitting in a favourite exercise class, perhaps, and avoiding the temptation of those high calories lattes and lunches consumed by colleagues. However, for many freelancers, working from home and/or on your own for much of the time brings its own health risks – and as your own health and safety officer, it’s up to you to tackle them.

The Cookie, Crisp and Cake Cupboard

It’s not time for lunch, but the cupboard is just sitting there, taunting you – full of snacks that you know should be eaten sparingly (and possibly by the whole family and not just you, in one stress-ridden morning).
Obesity ad a high sugar intake are triggers for a whole host of lifestyle-limiting, life-shortening diseases, so you need either to find the willpower to resist or to remove or reduce these offending items. Ensure you stock up on snacks that you enjoy to replace them, and if you’re often hungry between meals, set a definite coffee break time in which you allow yourself one small, healthy snack such as a banana, a cracker or two, a bunch of grapes or a healthy yogurt (because believe the health writer in me here – many yogurts really aren’t!).

The Screen and CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome)

Most freelancers today have to spend a great deal of time in front of a computer or other internet-enabled device, which puts them at risk of Computer Vision Syndrome. This condition is caused by your eyes constantly struggling to cope with glare and readjust their focus as they flick back and forth among tabs, images and text. This can put strain on the eye muscles and cause dry, red, irritated eyes along with blurred or double, double vision, headaches and neck pain.

To avoid this becoming a problem:

Your Chair (The Silent Killer)

A risk otherwise known as constant sitting. Now before you protest that you go to the gym three times a week or do a yoga DVD every day before you start work, I’ve got bad news; that doesn’t make a jot of difference. Recent research has shown that sitting for prolonged periods can still seriously damage your health and shorten your life expectancy even if you exercise regularly, causing a greatly increased risk of cardiovascular accidents, diabetes and obesity. We’re just not built to sit around. James Levine, Director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative, has said he believes “sitting is more dangerous than smoking… We are sitting ourselves to death.”
To ensure you don’t spend too long sitting:

Aches, Pains and Poor Posture

To avoid risking RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury), Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or back problems:

Sitting comfortably? Good. Just don’t sit there too long…

About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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