Sick at your home office?

How we can stay healthy even when we are at home

We've all been there: You arrive at work and can already hear half of your colleagues coughing and sneezing. On the train ride home, the person sitting next to you keeps pulling out a tissue. And in the evening, when you want to grab a quick bite to eat, you hear a constant phlegm output behind you in the supermarket line. Immediately you know: Watch out, I could catch something here! We are especially aware of this in the winter. But what about now, in times of the Corona pandemic? Can we catch infections now, even though we have little to no contact with other people?

The challenges of the last few months have permanently exiled many of us to the home office. And even though we all sit at home and hardly ever go outside, our colleagues and perhaps even we ourselves are still complaining about symptoms of the common cold. In fact, we can't completely eliminate sources of infection, because we cannot spend all of our time indoors. Here you can find out where the dangers lie and how we can keep ourselves healthy and fit even in the home office.
Illustration of two hands forming a heart shape
It's a scene that's probably unfolding similarly all over the country at the moment: We sit at our computers at home from morning until night - home offices have become the current standard in many different occupations. You can work comfortably all day in your sweatpants, switch to the couch in between, and cook during your lunch break while you're at a meeting. But with the advantages come the dangers: Because many are working far more and longer hours than before. In addition, parents with children face the extraordinary challenge of coordinating and supporting their children in homeschooling in addition to their own work. This increases one thing above all: stress. And going out for a short walk after work... In the winter? When it's cold and especially dark? Probably not! So it's only natural to switch from the office chair to the couch and under the covers. And that's how the days go by in the office.
Illustration of woman at home: working all day at her desk and eating on the couch in the evening.
But at some point you might notice it: You feel tired and groggy. How can that be when you're almost always at home? In fact, it's simply not good for the body in the long run to get so little exercise and so little fresh air - regardless of the temperature. Too little exercise can even be dangerous: The body's blood supply is reduced, muscles break down and the lungs are less well ventilated. Especially those who work a lot from a lying position are at a disadvantage here.
In addition, heating air can dry out our mucous membranes. In addition, there may be the stress caused by the lockdown both at work and in private life. Ultimately, all this has only one effect: that we make our bodies susceptible to infections. This weakens our immune system and strengthens the viruses, which then in turn have a greater chance with us when we go shopping, take the bus or anything similar. Now it's time to break the routine!
Illustration of woman at home:starting to feel sick while working all day at her desk and covered with a blanket on the couch in the evening.
How about instead of a quick frozen pizza today, for example, a tasty vegetable soup? Because balanced meals keep you healthy and fit! And to add to the positive effect: Take a short walk in the nearby park during your lunch break. You'll also get moving - and that lowers your stress level! But when you're out and about, you should always remember one thing that we're all too familiar with by now: Hand hygiene! Even the slightest encounter with viruses can increase the risk of infection. They cling to handles, doorknobs and generally lurk wherever people are. Especially in winter, noro and rhinoviruses are just waiting for their chance! Stand up to them with sufficient and proper hand hygiene.

Therefore: Give your stress a break, your body some exercise and your stomach something good. And when you go shopping, take the train or generally go out among people, always remember: don't forget proper hand hygiene!
Illustration of woman: taking a walk outside on her lunch break and eating healthy at the dinner table in the evening.

This is how we stay fit even in the home office:

✓ Use breaks to get moving! You can do yoga, pilates, aerobics and many more sports from the comfort of your home.

✓ Get out into the fresh air! Regular walks outside help keep you healthy.

✓ Try to control or avoid stress! Give yourself regular breaks and, where possible, set fixed times when you take breaks or stop working.

✓ Get a good night's sleep! Because: Sleep is healthy.

✓ Don't forget to eat! A healthy, varied diet can strengthen the immune system.

✓ Hand hygiene, hand hygiene, hand hygiene! In winter, the risk of getting sick is generally increased. Don't give the pathogens out there a chance and defend yourself with proper hand hygiene.

✓ Stay healthy!
Illustration of woman blinking
Proper hand hygiene - what should you pay attention to when washing your hands? Find out here.
Use disinfectants safely. Always read label and product information before use.

Explore more stories