With so many people spending more time in their houses, we decided it’s time to tackle the topic of how people can stay active while working from home.
Often, people just starting to work from home get excited thinking about how much they’ll be able to accomplish and all the great personal habits they’ll be able to build now that they’re not wasting time on a commute or eating out all the time for lunch.
But then reality steps in.
All their favorite snacks are just a room away, there’s no walk to and from the office, there’s no water cooler or lunch room to go to or physical conference rooms to visit. Also no gym to hit on the way home.
And then, the time that was supposed to go towards staying active can be forgotten or eaten up by screen time, laundry time, family time or a host of other distractions that come with spending all day within their own four walls.
The ritual of leaving the house and going to the office is usually one that we bolt good exercise habits onto e.g. going for a run before work, heading to the gym on the way home. But when you work from home those cues disappear and it’s easy to break your good habits. The result? You end up spending more time sitting down.
Many people working from home could literally spend the entire day at their desk without moving more than a few feet here and there for bathroom and lunch breaks! And that can leave them feeling unhealthy and low energy.
Health, productivity and job satisfaction are all tied to fitness and wellness habits.
Staying physically active keeps the mind sharp and alert. Exercise helps the brain to grow. It is a stress buster and the list of both physical and emotional perks goes on from miles.
Luckily, even for people working from home all day, there are plenty of opportunities to stay active and even sneak in a workout. Let’s cover some power tips to help people get moving!
Tips to stay active while working from home
1.Keep Exercise Equipment Nearby
Beyond setting times to walk or climb stairs, it’s helpful to leave hand weights, resistance bands, exercise mats, pushup bars and chairs readily visible and perhaps even “in your way.” This way, when you take a break you can pick up the weights, do some repetitions, practice pushups and leg exercises, use the resistance bands and frequently build strength a few minutes at a time when you leave your laptop.
2. Develop A Daily Rhythm
Habits and rituals are very powerful behavioral practices that can keep you on track or derail you. Creating regular rituals for yourself when working from home is essential. Set a consistent wake up time and schedule your work and your breaks. Have exercise equipment or weights you will use, do pushups, take a walk or simply have a standing desk. Use health apps to remind you when to get moving.
3.Get Up Every Hour
Being sedentary for long periods is not good for your health. Even if you’ve done your exercise routine for the day, sitting at a desk for hours on end can put you at increased risk for heart disease.
The solution? Set a timer that will remind you to get up and move for a few minutes every hour. Many smartwatches and apps can be configured to ring once every hour or prompt you if you haven’t taken a certain number of steps. When it goes off, get up and grab a healthy snack, walk up and down the stairs, or even do some quick jumping jacks to get your heart pumping and boost your energy.
4.Sneak in Extra Movement
Throughout your work day, look for reasons to stand up and move. Walk while you are on the phone, or take five minutes every hour to get up and walk through each room in your house. Walking has been shown to improve mood, stimulate creativity, and enhance focus, making it an all-around win for your health and productivity.
5. Put it in your calendar
You wouldn’t forget to put a client meeting in your calendar, so why do the same with exercise. Your calendar is a tool to help you stay organised and ensure you spend time the way you planned to. Going for a walk won’t just happen unless you make it happen. Putting a date in your diary might seem over the top, but it’s all too easy to let the working day take over and get to 5pm realising you haven’t left your desk all day. Get smart and put your active time in your diary.
6. Have Fun, Improvise and Experiment
Find ways to use your bags of rice or gallons of water for strength training. Find ways to make your cardio more exciting by experimenting with dancing and or martial arts. You can follow instructions on YouTube or a workout show on TV.
Switching up your workout elevates your fitness levels. It also helps to prevent injuries from overusing the same muscle groups and can make exercise an exciting thing to look forward to.
Working from home is already boring for many people, so let your workouts be something you can enjoy.
7.Break Your Activity Down Into Short Sessions
Working from home does not automatically leave you with extra time. Sometimes the calls don’t stop even after five (or they start before 8). And then there are family responsibilities to handle. Your kids may need your attention and there could be home chores that you cannot ignore.
So, if time is a scarce commodity, break down your workout schedule into small bits. Go for 10, 20, or 30 minutes sessions a few times a day. If you put your breaks to good use, by day end, you would have accomplished the 40 minutes of workout recommended by health experts.
Regardless of whether you’re an individual who’s decided to commit to daily physical activity while working at home or an employer devoted to supporting their employees in moving more during the workday, you’ll reap the benefits of increased exercise.
After just a few weeks of increased activity, team members should begin to notice increased strength and endurance along with improved sleep, enhanced job performance, and a greater sense of wellbeing. Set that timer, jump up, and move!