Working from home has come with its challenges, one of them is staying active. As many of us continue to work from home, and increasingly more of us may have the option to do so permanently, it is important to make being active an established part of your day as it helps us look after our physical health, happiness and working performances. Here, we have compiled five tips to help you stay active while working from home.
#1 Establish a Daily Routine
One of the issues with working from home is feeling like you are working more than ever. Be conscious of your working hours and if you can choose your own hours, set up a specific time in the day that you will be working. This ensures you will have some spare time outside of work to do something active like meeting a friend for a socially distanced walk or doing a home workout class.
An added benefit of a structured routine is knowing when you will have your lunch break, this helps reduce the chances of mindless snacking. And if you’re missing chats with your colleagues in the office, why not call a co-worker for a virtual lunch. Alternatively, if you live with people who are also working from home, you could meet to have your lunch break together. It is also important to eat lunch away from your desk, this gets you up and moving and means you can come back refreshed.
#2 Set Up Your Workspace Boundaries
By having a designated working space where you ‘go to work’, it means there is an area you can step away from once you finish working. It may sound appealing to swap out your office chair for your cosy bed or your comfy sofa, but it’s important to have boundaries between your work and home life.
A home office in a specific area can stop you from sitting in the same place after work and it may encourage you to do activities when you’re finished, whether it be cooking a meal or going for a walk. Your home office set up can also influence how active you are at work, swap your traditional desk for an adjustable height desk or invest in an ergonomic chair instead of your kitchen chair. These additions will help keep you active while being productive. In our previous blog post we wrote more about designating a specific area for working from home.
#3 Get Up Every 30 Minutes
It is recommended that we get up every 30 minutes from our desks to move about. Regular movement like this can help lessen the problems caused by sitting too much for too long. Use this opportunity to stretch your legs, do 5 minutes of meditation, or have a quick chat with someone. Why not challenge yourself and hold a plank for 30 seconds or get up to make yourself a cup of tea. If you think you might forget, set an alarm on your phone to remind you to get up, move, and do something different every 30 minutes. If you are using a sit-stand desk you can swiftly transition between sitting and standing, it’s an easy way to stay active that doesn’t take too much time from your day. It is also important to stay hydrated throughout the day, filling up your bottle or glass is a good reason to get up and move around.
#4 Let’s Get Walking
Walking is a gentle form of exercise which you can easily slot into your day. During a break you could head to a coffee shop near you or after lunch try dedicating some time for a walk in your area. Walking has many benefits, it has been proven to help you think, reduce your chances of heart problems and has been shown to boost your mood and energy levels. It is also good to get outside for some fresh air. You can even try listening to music or your favourite podcast as you go for a stroll. Why not try switching up your usual routine and suggest a walking meeting with your colleague. If possible, you can meet in person for a socially distanced walk or ring them on your phone. As a general rule of thumb, try walking every time you need to get somewhere, if the distance to cover is not too far, as opposed to using your car or the bus.
#5 Follow the 20-20-20 rule
The 20-20-20 rule was created to help prevent and ease eye strain, which is particularly important for those who are looking at a screen all day. To follow the rule, look 20 metres away every 20 minutes and focus on something for 20 seconds to relax the eye muscles. Alternatively, close your eyes for 20 seconds to let them rest. It is also important to blink regularly to prevent dry eyes and make sure your screen is 50 to 100 centimetres (about an arm’s length) away from your face.
It’s not just your eyes that you should be stretching, stretching has many benefits and is something you can do throughout your day, as previously mentioned. It can help prevent strains and the office furniture you choose can help facilitate a more active lifestyle while you’re working. Many office chairs offer lumbar support as well as some promising to strengthen your core muscles. Movements chairs come in a wide variety of designs to suit everyone’s needs while sit-stand desks have also become a popular option as they allow you to move between different positions with ease and comfort.
For many people working from home is a new experience, and learning to balance home and work life can be a learning curve. Being active is a fundamental part of keeping healthy and while working from home may have meant some adjustments, these suggestions are here to help you be active while working from home.
If you need help in setting up a home office, our experienced sales team is on hand to help. You can also contact us today through our chat on the website or by emailing or calling us to discuss your requirements.