10 Tips to Stay Active While Working from Home
Are you excited about the work-life balance you’re discovering as you join the remote workforce? At first glance, remote work is career nirvana, as you can take care of personal commitments without losing any career momentum.
However, at some point, most of us realize that remote work can come at a price to our health if we’re not diligent about getting some activity.
Getting Active When You Work Remotely
By necessity, most remote work entails hours of sitting at your computer, which can quickly become dangerous for your health. Looking at your daily schedule and figuring out where to cram in a full workout can be challenging.
But focusing on squeezing more activity pockets into your remote workday can mitigate the effects and help you enjoy a healthy remote work life without having to overhaul your entire daily routine.
1. Consider Walking Meetings
Unless you’re leading the meeting or need to have access to reports, there’s no reason you need to be seated at a desk during remote meetings. And depending on how frequently you attend meetings, you can likely turn some meetings into walking meetings—particularly if it’s one where you’re simply listening, such as an all-company meeting.
If you have the space, one of the best compromises for your meetings is an under-the-desk treadmill that allows you to get some much-needed movement while accessing all your work materials.
2. Invest in a Standing Desk
The good news is that there’s an easy way to reduce the health risks associated with all that sitting without ever leaving your office—using a standing desk.
Standing desks have been shown to improve posture and increase calorie burn by encouraging you to alternate your stance throughout the day. And because they help to improve circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots, standing desks can also lower your risk of developing diabetes or having a heart attack or stroke.
If a standing desk isn’t an option, consider a more affordable desk converter that will allow you to keep your current furniture and turn it into flexible desk space.
3. Set a Timer
In a remote job, sitting for long periods without moving is not uncommon. However, research has shown that it’s essential to make sure that you get up and move around every 20 minutes or so.
Set a timer on your phone or computer to remind you to get up and stretch your legs or stand up and walk around for a few minutes every 20 minutes. It may not seem like much, but regular movement can make a tremendous difference in your health.
4. Do Some Desk Exercises
If getting up every 20 minutes isn’t feasible, there are still some exercises you can do right at your desk.
For example, try doing some chair squats. Sit in your chair with your feet shoulder width apart and slowly stand up, using only your legs (no arms!). Sit back down and repeat.
You can also try leg lifts. Sit on the edge of your seat and straighten one leg out in front of you, holding it for a few seconds before lowering it back down. Repeat with the other leg.
5. Take Regular Breaks
We’ve all been there—it’s 2 p.m., and you’re struggling to keep your eyes open. You know you should have gone for a walk during lunch, but you were so busy catching up on work that you didn’t even take time to eat. Sound familiar?
It’s essential to make sure you take a real lunch break away from your desk to give your body and mind a break. This is an excellent opportunity to get in an entire sweat session to boost your movement and endorphins before the afternoon energy slide. Taking just 30 minutes to step away from your work will help you refocus and be more productive in the afternoon.
So, next time you’re feeling sluggish, take a walk, do some stretching, or do anything else that gets you moving! Your body—and mind—will thank you.
6. Get Some Fresh Air
Most of us spend a great deal of of our time indoors while working from home. And while being indoors can be more comfortable and convenient, it’s essential to step outside now and then to get some fresh air.
Getting even a small amount of time outdoors can significantly improve your health. Fresh air helps to improve lung function and can also reduce stress levels and increase energy levels.
If you live in a colder climate, don’t let the weather stop you from getting outside—bundle up and take a brisk walk. Just a few minutes spent in movement outdoors can make a world of difference in your energy levels.
7. Join an Online Gym or Exercise Class
Workplace perks, like on-site gyms or exercise classes, can still be accessed when working remotely. These days, many companies are offering healthy living stipends to ensure that remote workers continue to thrive. So, you can still get the exercise you need without leaving the comfort of your home.
And even if your company doesn’t offer reimbursements, plenty of online options provide the same benefits. You can find yoga, pilates, and HIIT classes online, as well as more specialized offerings, like dance cardio or kickboxing. And many of these classes are free or low-cost if you look through YouTube or download an app.
8. Take Up a Hobby
Anyone who has ever tried to get in shape knows that it’s not always easy to find the motivation to exercise. It’s even harder to stick with a workout routine when you don’t have much free time.
One way to solve this problem is to find an active hobby you enjoy and make it part of your daily routine. For example, if you love being outdoors, you could take up gardening or hiking. If you prefer indoor activities, you could try biking or dancing.
The important thing is to find an activity that gets you moving and that you can realistically fit into your schedule. Not only will this help you stay in shape, but it’s also a great way to relax and de-stress after a long day.
9. Get a Pet
Pets are more than just cute and cuddly companions—they can also be great motivators for getting active. If you have a dog, you’ll need to take them for walks regularly, giving you some much-needed exercise. And if you don’t have a pet of your own, consider volunteering at your local animal shelter.
Walking your pet is a great way to get some steps in, and it’s also incredibly enriching if you’re struggling with the isolation of remote work. So, next time you’re feeling unmotivated to get moving, remember that your furry friend could be just the motivation you need.
10. Make It a Game
One final tip for getting more activity into your day is to make it a game. Many fitness apps and websites turn working out into a competition, such as Fitbit’s Challenges feature or the 7-Minute Workout app. Or, you could create your challenges with family or friends.
See who can take the most steps in a day or week, for example, or see who can do the most sit-ups or push-ups in a certain amount of time. Making exercise into a game will not only help you get more active, but it will also make it more fun.
Prioritizing Your Health While Working Remotely
Working from home has many perks, but it’s essential that you focus on creating a healthy remote work environment that will encourage you to thrive.
Check out more Remote.co articles to learn more about thriving in a remote work environment.
By Kimberli Lowe-MacAuley | Categories: Work Remotely