1) Snacking/bad diet

A lot of freelancers I know, myself included, have put some weight (freelance fat) on since starting to work from home . You’re right near the kitchen, it’s tempting to comfort eat when things get tough and lunch portions can gradually increase with access to an oven.

Freelance Health Tip: Meal plan, so you know what you’re cooking for the week (or download the Freelance Planner I created last week to make a note of what you’re going to eat that day). I’m also a big fan of Weight Watchers if you want to lose some weight (you can see my weight loss updates on my other blog).

The other problem with weight as a freelancer is…

2) Not exercising

You know that annoying commute to work you had to do before freelancing? And all that running up and down stairs and popping out for lunch? That was all a little bit of exercise that you’re not getting now. In theory, it should be easier to fit in exercise – you could pop to the gym mid-morning or mid-afternoon when things are quieter. But when you’re freelancing time can run away with you a bit, and you don’t have the structure of a 9-5er.

Freelance Health Tip: Try booking fitness classes in and paying ahead, so you HAVE to go.

3) Not taking enough breaks

This isn’t just a problem for freelancers. All office workers who work at a computer should take a break away from their screen each hour. But how many of us actually do that? And how many bosses would be realistically happy with you leaving your desk every hour (even though it’s a health and safety requirement)?

I know a lot of freelancers take their lunch in front of their computer and rarely take breaks.

Freelance Health Tip: Set a timer to remind you to take breaks every hour. Alternatively, download Fitbolt which will give you reminders every 20 minutes to take a break from your screen and adjust your posture/doing a 30 second exercise/eat healthy. Make sure you take your lunch away from your desk.

4) Not sitting at a desk

Where do you work? At a desk? On the sofa? I’ve been seduced by the comfort of the sofa recently – and surprise surprise, my back has been hurting. Sitting at a desk means you’re more likely to have good posture, which will help your back, ease headaches from hunched shoulders and stressed necks and stop you from being too close to your screen.

Freelance Health Tip: Got a desk? Use it. Not only will it improve your posture, but it’ll help you stick to better work hours too. I’m going to try and do that all this week.

5) Not discussing work with others

When you’re freelance, it’s easy to store up all your worries and not have somewhere vent, which can be emotionally unhealthy. Twitter now gives us somewhere to discuss things (to a limit) and there are plenty of forums on Facebook and LinkedIn for chatting to other freelancers.

Freelance Health Tip: Get to know fellow freelancers, who you can chat to about any worries you might have. And if you have a partner, don’t be afraid to talk to them about work. That exercise malarky can also be good for working out stress.

Have you discovered any unhealthy habits since going freelance?

8 comments on “Five bad health habits of freelancers”

  1. It’s so easy to fall into a bit of a rut without the schedule of a ‘normal’ job. I seem to flit between snacking too much and also missing meals if things are busy or I’m stressed about something. If I was stressed in an office, I’d be more likely to take a proper lunch break to unwind and collect myself, but working from home I’ll often look at the clock and notice it’s already 3pm and I haven’t had any lunch. It’s a really bad and unhealthy habit of mine!

    • Thanks for your comment! It really is all about that structure and schedule. Thankfully I have a friend who has moved round the corner and drags me to fitness classes, which helps! No one there to stop me making a giant bowl of pasta for lunch though 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment! It really is all about that structure and schedule.  Thankfully I have a friend who has moved round the corner and drags me to fitness classes, which helps! No one there to stop me making a giant bowl of pasta for lunch though 🙂

  2. I’ve been a freelancer for nearly 2 years and the weight has certainly piled on. Doesn’t help that my jobs revolve around food and lunch is usually the quickest thing I can grab from the cupboard. At least when I was working I made myself a decent packed lunch. I force myself to go swimming 3 times a week, but sometimes I find it too easy to ignore the call of the pool and head straight to my desk. I’m downloading FitBolt as we speak!

    • Madness really, isn’t it? Anyone would think we’re a bunch of workaholics 🙂

      I really like FitBolt, and the great thing about being freelance is that no one can see you suddenly jumping up and doing 10 jumping jacks…

  3. I actually find it easier to diet since I started working from home! When I worked in an office I would get bored and snack, or get tempted by the cakes that get brought in and left in the communal kitchen… or worse, by my desk! Now I rarely snack and because (like you say) I don’t tend to take breaks since working from home, I don’t really even think about it. It is also hard to eat healthy food for lunch in an office because pre-packed food tends to be bad for you, or I’ll get tempted by a jacket potato and cheese from the cafe. Now I have the time (and the full fridge) to make myself a homemade salad or soup every day. Although it is worth pointing out that I have a dedictated office at home, rather than sitting in the front room or kitchen, so I am in ‘work mode’ during the day. If I was in the kitchen or front room, I probably wouldn’t be so disciplined!

  4. Recently I was really, really low on cash and debts were eating me from all sides! That was UNTIL I decided to make money.. on the internet. I went to surveymoneymaker dot net, and started filling in surveys for cash, and surely I’ve been far more able to pay my bills!! I’m so glad, I did this.. – s4WW

  5. It is recommended from Picklance to take 5 minutes break to keep yourself away from the screen because that is also recommended from Health Advisors. Everyone who constantly view screen for one hour may have bad health consequences.
    In terms of back ache it is also very common and taking 5 minute break may also solve this problem.

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