You have probably read tons of articles on how to stay healthy while working online at home. Many of those repeat the same basics that will be happened at the end of this article.
With that aside, let’s focus on some of the leading areas for online English and ESL teachers. If you have any further suggestions, please do let us know in the comments section at the end of the article.
Take Care Of Those Eyes
Unlike some of the other online jobs, teaching English one-on-one or in groups requires you to stay focused on the screen. To make things even worse, there are times when you have back-to-back classes without any break at all.
One suggestion is to get f.lux. It has been out on the Mac for years and is now available on Windows.
This useful, free program adjusts the color of your computer’s display depending on the time of day. F.lux gives you a warm color at night and more like the sunlight during the day.
Make sure that you are working in a well-lit area. If possible, it is best to get natural light from the outside. Having a small light behind your monitor or laptop helps to prevent eyestrain. We call it bias lighting which you can read about here.
When you can, make sure to look away at far distances. Your computer time is spent looking at close ranges so; you need to adjust your eyes by looking further away. Investing in antiglare glasses for use on a computer is something else that you can look into. No pun intended.
Turn Down The Music
The second most important area to look at is with your hearing. After teaching for a few years, some teachers suffer from tinnitus. This is a constant ringing in the ears that is beyond annoying.
One of the best things to do is to ditch earbuds and headphones when you are not teaching. With many schools you are forced to wear these while teaching, so just get rid of them when you are not in class.
Instead of listening to music for entertainment why not read a book. When I refer to a book, I mean a physical book. If you are reading on your computer or another device, you are exposing your eyes to more screen time. Think about what was covered in the first topic.
Purchase a high-quality headset for when you’re teaching. It is much better than relying on earbuds.
Sitting Is The New Smoking
The title above is an expression that is starting to gain more traction and understanding. To put it simply, humans are not meant to sit during the day for long periods of time.
The solution to this is a standing desk. Using a standing desk might seem like an odd thing at first, but once you’re used to it, you never want to go back to sitting around all day in a chair.
If you do not have space for a standing desk, you can get a raised platform that goes on your current desk. You can check out these alternatives in this articles on how to convert your sitting desk into a standing one.
If You Have To Sit
Invest in a comfortable, ergonomic chair that will support your back and keep it properly aligned as you work through your lessons. Along with that, sit up straight and not give in to being hunched over, or other forms of poor posture.
Make The Most Of Your Breaks
When you have a break in between lessons, make the most of it. Get away from your computer instead of reading emails, hanging out on Facebook, or other activities that keep you glued to the screen.
Find alternatives to the computer during your break time. Even if you just want to sit down on the couch and stare outside. That is much better than staying a slave to the machine. Okay, that is a bit melodramatic, but I think you get the point.
Ohhh I Love My Coffee And Sweet Snacks
Welcome to the world of caffeine. Coffee is a favorite of people working online, and along with that is the habit of eating sweet snacks. Salty snacks such as chips, Doritos, and other tasty things that you need from a bag can hurt you in the long run.
If you can switch to pure looseleaf green tea you will be better off. There are a fair amount of health benefits to drinking green tea. Also, you will not end up those highs and lows that you get from drinking coffee.
If you have to drink coffee, then try not to drink some concoction that is full of sugar and other Ingredients that are not good for somebody who will be working on the computer all day. If you like sugar in your coffee, then try using stevia instead. It is an all natural replacement for sugar.
Try to avoid snacking while working. This is easier said than done. One alternative that is hard to get adjusted to it first, but will benefit you in the long run, is intermittent fasting. James Clear Has a well-written guide to get you started with intermittent fasting.
Get Outside Often
As often as you can get outside. Walk around and enjoy not being behind the screen. Try not to bring along your phone, laptop, iPad, or other electronic devices. Meet up with a friend, take a walk in nature, or walk on the beach.
If you are in a large city, the try to find your way to a park, or become a member in a gym. The urban environment can present many obstacles to good health. Finding ways around that can be done through creative ideas such as urban gardening.
Basics Of Staying Healthy
Now back to the basics of staying healthy. These are a few simple pointers that might need repeating.
Exercise on a regular basis with 20 to 30 minutes of activity each day. Try to raise your heart rate to get better results.
Maintain a constant and healthy weight. Find out the proper weight for your height, age, and other factors. Stay within a few pounds of that weight instead of allowing it to go up and down.
Avoid smoking at all costs. There are so many negative effects associated with smoking that make it one of the worst habits you can have. If you are a smoker, work through a program that will help you quit. If you have tried programs before and failed, then just watch this video ten times a day.
If you do like to drink alcohol, then make sure it is in moderation. For you digital nomads and those living overseas I realize this is easier said than done. Just use your best judgment and stay away from the local brands of hard liquor. Those seem to do the most damage to foreigners.
Tons more suggestions can be made when it comes to staying healthy. The ones above are focused on those of you that teach online. This article the updated from time to time as we hear back from you regarding other ways beyond what was mentioned above.