How to avoid headaches while working at home

Do you suffer from headaches while working at home? Find out why that may be, and what you can do to help prevent them.

Working from home certainly offers its fair share of benefits. We can determine our own hours, earn a substantial income and in many cases, enjoy a higher quality of life when compared to the drudgery often associated with a traditional office atmosphere.

But still, there are some potential health drawbacks which could hamper our efforts. Tension headaches are a common concern and at times, the pain can become quite severe.

In order to know how these headaches can be treated, we should first take a look at why they occur.

What is a tension headache?

As the name already suggests, this type of headache results from muscular tension around the shoulders, eyes and neck. Please note that this is different from a migraine (with causes that are not yet fully understood). Tension headaches can be caused by a number of situations including:

  • Poor posture.
  • Bad sleeping habits.
  • Not staying properly hydrated throughout the day.
  • Staring at electronic screens (such as laptops and smartphones) for extended periods of time.

In terms of muscular causes, the trigger points of these headaches are often found within an area of the upper neck known as the “suboccipital” region. If the muscles here become tight or cramped, the pain can translate to portions of your head; especially the eyes and forehead.

Poor posture will often come into play, so it is a good idea to purchase an ergonomic chair if you remain seated for long periods of time. Most experts also recommend taking a ten-minute break every hour to stand up and to walk around.

This simple practice alone can help to relieve tension. However, there are other factors to take into account.

Learning to adopt a proactive approach

We mentioned earlier that computer screens and smartphones can play a role. Why is this the case? Many modern electronic devices emit a wavelength of light known as “blue light”. While it cannot be seen with the naked eye, this type of light can cause eye strain and ultimately, it may contribute to tension headaches.

This is why many freelancers are choosing to purchase a pair of blue light glasses. These eyepieces will block the vast majority of blue light emitted from display screens, so your chances of developing a tension headache are dramatically reduced.

Another useful suggestion is to obtain as much natural light as possible. This is beneficial for two reasons. First, natural light helps the body produce vitamin D; a vital nutrient.

If you also happen to be working outdoors (such as on a balcony), the presence of fresh air is also quite healthy (it has been shown that stagnant air that contains allergens can cause tension headaches on occasion).

While it is not entirely uncommon to experience an occasional headache, there is no reason why you should be forced to endure discomfort on a daily basis. The advice mentioned throughout this article will help to ensure a productive and healthy work atmosphere.

Photo by Mehrpouya H