We talked about ergonomics for the bodily development module of my Integral Human Development class. The global COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down, and nobody was prepared for the abrupt shift to working from home. The space at home is not conducive for teaching and learning compared to our setup on campus. Furniture and equipment at home weren’t inherently appropriate for work.
I’ve set up my workspace in my bedroom, the living room and even the kitchen. However, despite my efforts to find a suitable place at home to work, it wasn’t as good as on campus. Working with a laptop on a dining table and sitting on a wooden chair may be fine for short periods, but if used long enough, it may cause discomfort and body strain.
Changing your work environment may not be enough. The reality is that many of us had given up on our routine when we all had to work from home as we tried to adjust to the situation. Having a laptop rather than a desktop is great because you can move it around the house and use it wherever you want. But after a whole day in front of the laptop, I feel the back strain and discomfort. The tired feeling is worse compared to going around the classrooms and climbing the stairs back and forth during face-to-face classes.
It may not be the ideal scenario or space, but we should make the best out of it. I still tried to decorate the wall in my room to make a good background for myself whenever I do synchronous classes. I remind everyone in the house whenever I do lectures to minimize noise, although this is hard to do for my pets. I try to get short breaks and go outside my room to have short conversations with my mother, play with my dogs or eat snacks. At least these small things let me release my daily stress for a little while.
Our body is a temple. This means that our body is not our own, but it is God’s, which is why we should take care of it. We should also realize that we cannot be healthy in any other aspect if we will not care for our bodies first. I realized this during these past few years. Stress eating and eventually gaining weight affects my emotional and psychological health. I became very sensitive to people’s opinions, leading to random nervous breakdowns. In addition to this, my eyesight suffers, and I miss not wearing glasses. These instances make me more conscious of what I eat, encourage me to exercise regularly and remind me to care of myself better.
Lifestyle changes are never easy, and they require a high level of commitment to be a success. To address my bodily development, I will be allotting time to regularly do morning stretches and exercise to be as physically fit as possible, given the circumstances and available equipment. I’ll eat a proper, healthy and balanced meal every day.
I also invested in a few things such as a high back office chair to reduce strain on my neck and back, an adjustable working table; a laptop stand to keep my screen on eye level; a wireless mouse and keyboard to provide enough room for movement and wrist support; a mallow-type pillow for added elbow support and comfort; a carpet to reduce stress on the feet, legs and back, reduce fatigue, and contribute to a more productive ambiance; and lastly, LED lights for added illumination to reduce eye fatigue and headaches. Although these might have affected my savings, it would be worth it as the future is still uncertain. I know that I should prioritize my health with the same effort as other vital things in my life.
The author is an MBA student at the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business, DLSU. She can be reached at email@example.com.
The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty, and its administrators.