Many of us have proper workspaces set up in our homes. This is great in so many ways, but it’s not without challenges. Setting up a home office means adding a bunch of new EMF-emitting devices to your home, which, as you may have guessed by the sound of it, isn’t a good thing.
EMF (electromagnetic field) pollution from gadgets, appliances, home wiring, and other outside sources already surrounds all of our homes. What you might not know, is that your office setup only adds to the radiation. Research studies show that long-term exposure to EMF emissions can cause a number of health problems ranging from minor sleep disorders to chronic diseases.
If home-working is here to stay for you, it’s likely to be impossible to get rid of your home office. So, what can you can you do about EMF pollution? That’s what you’re going to learn in this article —how to mitigate your EMF exposure without losing the convenience of working from home.
But before that, let’s take a moment to understand the types of EMFs present in your home office.
Types of EMFs in your Home Office
There are four main types of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) present in your home at any given time. These are electric fields, magnetic fields, radiofrequency (RF), and dirty electricity.
You can also find blue light and static electricity, which are slightly different from the ones above, but they are all in the same spectrum.
Here’s a short overview of these EMFs.
When electricity runs in a closed circuit, it creates an electric field. Testing shows that these fields occupy 6-8 feet of space around the electrical wire or cable.
Electric currents produce magnetic fields. You can usually find them coming from overhead or buried power lines. Besides that, things like breaker panels, large appliances, power outlets, and anything that uses electricity can produce a magnetic field.
Radiofrequency (RF) is the most common type of EMF in the modern world. Our devices like cell phones, WiFi routers, laptops, and tablets emit RF to either communicate with the network source or connect to other devices.
When you use something that causes a disturbance in the flow of electricity, it creates dirty electricity. Things like CFL & LED light bulbs, fluorescent lights, solar panels, computer chargers, and energy-saving devices are good examples of this.
Static Electricity and Blue Light
Finally, there’s static electricity, a weaker form of energy that’s generated when two objects rub together. And blue light that LED screens, like on your computer, TV, and cell phone, produce.
EMF’s Health Effects
When you look at gadgets in your home office, or at any EMF source for that matter, you don’t immediately associate it with something that can cause you harm. Part of the reason this happens is that EMF is invisible and odourless; you can’t touch, taste, or smell it.
But despite its appearance, researchers around the world have found strong links between prolonged EMF exposure and a range of health problems, including:
- Immune system function
- Improper functioning of the endocrine system
- Infertility and miscarriage
- Mental health problems like anxiety and depression
- Brain tumours, and even cancer
So, what can you do?
How to Reduce EMF in Your Home Office
So, now that you’re familiar with the types of EMFs present in your home office and the health risks associated with them, let’s look at how you can mitigate your exposure and have a safer work from home experience.
Things to Do
A standard workplace packs many EMF-emitting devices. And if you were to test the EMF pollution levels there, you’ll often find very high readings.
Undeniably, you have fewer EMF-emitting devices at home than you would in an office. But that doesn’t eliminate the risk. Even your home office has enough devices emitting sufficient EMF radiation to damage your health.
So, here are some of the things you can do to protect yourself from EMF-induced health problems:
- Hardwire your internet connection
- Unplug your devices when you’re not using them
- Replace your LED and CFL light bulbs with some old school incandescent light bulbs
- Put your cell phone on airplane mode whenever possible
- Use a corded phone if you use a landline
- Replace your wireless computer accessories (like keyboard and mouse) with their wired alternatives
- Do NOT use your laptop on your lap
- Get blue light filter glasses
- Opt for natural materials over synthetic ones
Work from home is here to stay. And, in a way, that’s empowering. It means you have control over where and how you work.
It also means that mitigating EMF emissions isn’t just about you. Things can become much more serious if you have kids in your home, because children’s bodies aren’t as resilient to EMF-induced health risks.
So, why not do a check-up of your workspace today and make some changes for the better? Follow the tips above, and make your home office a safer space for you and your loved ones.
More content on reducing your exposure to EMF pollution here.
R Blank is the CEO of Shield Your Body which he founded in 2012. With hundreds of thousands of customers in over 30 countries, and having been interviewed on platforms ranging from ABC news television to ElectricSense, R is an internationally followed expert on issues of EMF radiation, health and safety. He also hosts “The Healthier Tech Podcast”, available iTunes, Spotify and all major podcasting platforms. In the past, he served on the faculty at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering as well as the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Work in Mind is a content platform designed to give a voice to thinkers, businesses, journalists and regulatory bodies in the field of healthy buildings.