Working From Home? How to Squeeze More Movement into Your Busy Day
There are plenty of perks to working from home – you don’t have to commute, you can take snack breaks whenever you want, and there’s zero dress code(hello pyjamas!). Silver linings aside, there are some downsides, with one of the most obvious being a decrease in the amount of movement we do each day.
On average, office workers are sedentary for more than 75% of their day. Even still, between travelling to work, walking around the office and carrying out work-related errands, they manage to squeeze some exercise into their day. This is significantly reduced when working from home, so it’s important we’re conscious about taking the time to include exercise to keep us physically and mentally in shape. Here are the best ways to fit that extra bit of movement into your busy day working from home.
Set an alarm to remind you to get up and move
It’s widely documented that sitting for long periods of time is bad for your health. Experts recommend getting up and moving around regularly throughout your day. Some say this should be done as often as every 30 minutes, whilst others recommend every hour is enough. When taking these short breaks, spend five minutes away from your computer.
Getting up and moving doesn’t mean running up and down a flight of stairs! Sometimes getting yourself a glass of water or a snack is enough. You can also do a quick stretch session, a five-minute clean-up or even just get outside and soak up the sun for a few minutes.
Take short exercise breaks (and get creative)
Speaking of exercise, you might feel as though you need to do a substantial amount in order to make it count. However, studies show that short bursts of exercise, even a few minutes, are good for our health. With this in mind, get creative about the kind of exercise you do. If you have a staircase in your house, do a couple of minutes of stair climbing. While waiting for the kettle, do some squats or even kitchen countertop push ups. Anything that gets you moving is better than staying sitting at your desk! Plus, a few exercises here and there will also perk you up, ready to take on whatever the day throws at you.
Do an at-home workout
If you’re eager to incorporate some more structured exercise sessions into your day, there are plenty of different at-home workouts you can do. Depending on your preferences, these can involve equipment – like dumbbells, resistance bands, or simply a yoga mat – or no equipment at all. Consider downloading a fitness app, or even simply heading to YouTube, where you can find plenty of fantastic videos to guide you in your workout.
Take walking meetings
Instead of meetings at your desk, schedule walking meetings. Make sure you invest in a great pair of headphones to keep you on track and focused while getting in some steps! If you’re meeting up with a colleague, you could substitute the coffee shop for a walk around the park. If it’s a conference call, simply take it while you walk. As well as getting you moving, a short walk will have the added benefit of clearing your head, and boosting your energy levels and mood.
Consider a standing desk
Standing desks are becoming more and more popular, as experts recommend that office workers spend at least two hours standing each day. Standing improves concentration and actually burns a small amount of calories, which can add up over a week. Standing also has other health-related benefits, including improving posture and circulation, and even giving you an energy boost (who would have thought?).
If the idea appeals to you, consider investing in a standing desk – or even a sit-stand desk that gives you the option of both. If a standing desk isn’t for you, consider ways you could insert more standing into your day, for instance, when taking phone calls. An exercise ball is another great way to take your desk game to the next level, improving your posture and engaging your core for better abdominal strength.
Get out in your lunch break
Whilst it’s easy to spend your lunch break sitting at your desk and powering through your work, it’s incredibly important that you get up, and if possible, go outside. Whether you use your lunch break as an opportunity for exercise and go for a walk or jog – or simply take your sandwich to the park or out into your backyard, spending your break outdoors is a perfect way to get you moving and give your brain a rest.
Create rituals for yourself/daily schedule
With all of this in mind, the easiest way to ensure you implement these hacks is to create a daily routine for yourself. Choosing a consistent time for waking up and taking your lunch break will help enable an overall routine. Plan ahead exactly how often you’re going to set your alarm for short breaks and consider downloading an app with a Pomodoro timer. Prepare meetings you can take while walking and schedule your at-home workout sessions. By establishing these kinds of routines, you’ll be more inclined to follow through with your intentions and more likely to ultimately have a productive and movement-filled day.