When you are working for yourself, there is a lot to do. You have to manage not only your day-to-day business operations, but also your taxes, clients and deadlines. It is easy to forget your health, safety, and well-being.
You are responsible for the health and well-being of your workplace if you’re self-employed.
Only employees or work that carries a clear danger to others are covered by the health and safety laws. After an independent review by Professor Ragnar Lofstedt, a leading risk management expert, this exemption was added to the Health and Safety Act 2015. It was intended to remove red tape from self-employed workers without compromising their well-being.
However, just because you are exempted from paperwork doesn’t mean you are immune from risk. Even if you work from home, there is still the possibility of developing potentially serious conditions like headaches, eyestrain, RSI and back pain.
We recommend that you learn about DSE regulations if you are using a computer for a lot of time every day. Although you don’t need to check boxes like companies, it is worth taking steps to reduce risks, even if your setup is quite comfortable. Musculoskeletal pain can take time to develop. It is best to detect it early to prevent it from becoming serious.
A well-designed workstation not only lowers the chance of injury to the musculoskeletal system and eye problems, but it also makes it more comfortable and easier to concentrate on work.
We have compiled the top 5 tips to help you keep your health as good as it can be.
1. Seek professional assistance
It doesn’t have to cost a lot to get bespoke ergonomic advice. We have created a Remote DSE Assessment to help people with limited time and budgets. For freelancers, sole traders, and home-based workers, the DSE telephone consultation is ideal. You simply need to fill out a questionnaire about the workstation and set up a 30-minute consultation with one of our DSE experts. The DSE assessors will create a report and make recommendations to improve your equipment.
Sometimes, all you need to make a change in your work environment and increase your productivity is making a few small adjustments.
2. Learn and research
Every month, we publish useful information and advice about healthy working habits in the form advice sheets, infographics, and blog posts.Our website has information about equipment positioning, how to prevent back pain, active working and eye health. Being aware of the risks and the solutions, which are often very simple, will keep you in good health so that you can concentrate on the important things – such as impressing clients.
3. Buy yourself a comfortable chair
An ergonomic chair is the foundation of a comfortable workspace. You can’t afford to make any compromises in setting up your workspace. Make sure you invest wisely – this is the equipment that will last you for many years as your business grows.
It is important to ensure it
- It is the right size for you
- Many adjustment options available
- Properly set up
4. Keep moving
This is a very important piece of advice. You are likely to have an interminable to-do list if you work for yourself. It’s not uncommon for us to be so busy that we don’t even think about where we are sitting.
Sitting still for too long is very dangerous for our health. Recent research has shown that sitting for too long can lead to one in ten deaths. Even going for a run or to the gym won’t reverse the negative effects of sitting for too long.
- Do regular desk stretches.
- You can set an alarm for 30 minutes to go on a walk.
- Check out our complete list of ideas to get 10,000 steps per day at work.
5. Reduce clutter
It’s common to hear the phrase “clean space, clean mind”, but clutter can also lead to more musculoskeletal injuries. You are putting unnecessary stress on your body if you have to reach and twist to move through stacks of papers or books. RSI, and other debilitating injuries, can be caused by repetitive small movements. Although the human body is resilient, it can become more fragile over time.