Five Ways To Stay Fit Whilst Working From Home
Working from home used to be niche, something that only those perceived as lucky could achieve.
After all, what could be better than no commute and a bit of flexibility around your working hours? It’s the perfect way to strike a better work/life balance and used to be envied. Now, it is commonplace, with many across the US enjoying the advantages it offered due to the pandemic. Pew Research suggests as many as 70% of Americans worked from home during the pandemic, with more than half expressing a desire to do so once things returned to normal. Currently, more than 4.7m people work for companies remotely for at least half of the time, which doesn’t include those who work from home exclusively for themselves. That’s a significant shift in working patterns and culture over the last three years.
That does bring with it associated risks. Some people find it hard to switch off, and working from home becomes suffocating as they’re always on the clock. For others, there is no chance to walk around the block, no commute which gets you on your feet, or stairs to climb to your office. The risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle are numerous and can lead to significant health complaints. That alone is one of the biggest drawbacks of working from home; it’s a short walk from the bedroom to the office, and the office to the couch, so a conscious effort must be made to remain active.
How can you ensure you are minimizing those risks during the day? You can start by following some of these handy pieces of advice.
The obvious way to stay fit whilst working is to incorporate some workouts into your daily routine at your desk. A treadmill or bike desk would be perfect for this task. There are many things you can do, including simple stretches that just help keep your blood flowing. They might not help you keep your weight down, but they will combat some of the issues associated with long periods sitting at a desk. Simple seated leg raises are something Gala Bingo’s Happy Hub suggests are a great way to get the blood pumping; sit on a chair with your back straight, raise your leg to form a 90-degree angle with your torso, and hold for a few seconds. Drop it down, do the same on the other leg, and repeat 20 times. That’s a simple one to start with, but you could try chair dips, anything that breaks the normality of remaining sedentary. Try to do something at the hour if possible.
When working from home, it is important to take breaks, and perhaps a good way to remain fit is to use those breaks for fitness. Think about your commute, and instead of using that time to do nothing, take an online yoga course. If you do this in the morning, before you start work, it will help prepare your body for the day by incorporating plenty of stretches and physical movement. You may even have a yoga mat in the hallway, or the entrance to your home office, to remind you to do something other than sit and work all day. There are plenty of 30-minute yoga workouts on YouTube, and they will help keep you active.
There are multiple benefits of a standing desk; they can help reduce obesity and lower the risk of heart disease. By standing, you are burning more calories than f you were sitting, and it can even help prevent lower back pain, as the weight is not transferred to your back, which can be vulnerable to wear and tear. Indeed, studies have shown a standing desk can reduce the risk of back complications by up to 30%. Some might feel that an adjustable desk is more suited to their needs, especially if they’re working eight hours a day from the same spot.
One great way to ensure you’re mindful of your activity is to invest in a fitness tracker watch. Anything from Garmin to Apple, or even those sub $100 watches will be fine if they measure your steps and activity. Each day, if you’re not on course to hit a target, you’re more likely to attempt to be active if your watch reminds you. It sounds like a simple plan, but having a watch that tells you that you’ve only done 3,000 steps makes you more likely to go out for a walk around the block or even a run. There’s solid psychology behind it, whether beating your previous day’s total or not wanting to lose a run of 10,000 step days. It’s the same reason people play the World every day to keep their streak; we all like to achieve something, and a fitness tracker can help you achieve a better lifestyle when working from home.
Adopt a Dog
You’re at home all day; why not think about getting a dog? If you work from home alone, a dog can be a great companion, but more importantly, they’ll demand a couple of walks per day, which means you go out with them. Dog ownership is a major responsibility, and many people work in an office, leaving their dogs at home alone all day. If you work from home, you’re in the perfect position to own a dog, and perhaps most pertinently, you’ll be ensuring you have to get out and get your steps in, come rain or shine. Your fitness tracker will thank you for it!
Working from home can be a great lifestyle choice, allowing you to strike a balance between your personal life and home life without a long commute. However, to keep yourself fit and firing on all cylinders, it is important to factor in the extra work you'll need to do, by following our guide here, or perhaps by some method of your own. Remember, it doesn't matter exactly what you do to remain fit whilst working from home, as long as you're aware you need to do something.