Don’t let working from home cramp your health and wellness journey. People all around the world have found themselves working at home for the better part of a year now. Many people find themselves outfitting their home with new office furniture and creating an at home work space to adapt to this new normal. When your new daily commute consists of moving from one room to the other, are you getting as many steps as walking to your car, parking, then walking into the office? The answer is probably no. Many people have been fortunate to keep on top of activity levels with outdoor activities and makeshift at home gyms, but for many who may not have access to gym equipment - there is still hope! It is time to take advantage of working from home to fully customize your new “cloffice” and your daily routine before, during and after you are on the clock to maximize your activity. Here are 5 very simple ways for anyone to boost your activity when working from home by planning and executing these simple additions.
1. Carve out a 10-15 minute walk in the morning and in the afternoon to close out your work day
It is time to get back in the routine of commuting to and from work. Yes, walking out of your house in the morning and going on a walk around the neighborhood before work. A 10 to 15 minute walk will help clear your mind and help prepare you to dive into your first tasks at work when you arrive back home, while still boosting your activity levels when working from home. Laura Vanderkam encourages using your commute to maximize your mindset for the day. Vanderkam advocates to ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish? What can I do now that I’m having trouble making time for elsewhere?” Similarly, exiting the house at the end of a work day for a 10 to 15 minute walk changes your mindset when you get home from your commute from work back into home and family life. Do you have trouble knowing when to shut your laptop at the end of a work day because you can knock out just one more task before dinner? You will benefit both physically and cognitively from adding a commute to your daily routine!
2. Take your work call on a walk
Do you have work calls that do not require you to be glued to your desk? Pop those headphones in and go enjoy some sunshine and fresh air while maximizing your time to boost your activity when working from home! Brisk walking is scientifically proven to boost your endorphins, which can also help alleviate stress and mild depression, according to WebMD. Depending on your company, you may even be able to convince coworkers to do the same thing by creating virtual walking meetings!
3. Invest in an ergonomic sit-stand desk
Make an investment in your health by investing in an ergonomic sit-stand desk. The number of calories burned while standing is greater than sitting, according to this study from the National Library of Medicine. Standing improves your health and boosts your activity when working from home in other ways as well. Standing desks lessen back pain by improving your posture and engaging your back muscles instead of tightening them by sitting for extended periods of time. In addition, a study from Texas A&M University shows people who use sit-stand desks are 46% more productive than those who sit all day.
4. Keep hand weights at your desk for long conference calls
If you find yourself tied to your desk on long phone calls, you can still stay active with small exercise at your desk. Keep hand weight at your desk to incorporate bicep curls and tricep extensions to boost your activity while working from home. You can also incorporate neck and shoulder stretches to help relieve tension in your upper body, often from stress. Adding 2.5 hours of activity per week during the work day leads to improved and sustainable production levels according to a study by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
5. Wear a fitness tracker or activity tracking smart watch
Wearing a fitness tracker is a great way to optimize your workouts and track your activity every day. When worn consistently, fitness trackers give you personal metrics on your activity levels compared to previous days/weeks/months. Most fitness trackers also track your sleep to ensure you are getting ample rest to fuel your busy days. Fitness trackers range in price and advanced capabilities. Here are the top 3 fitness trackers of 2021: Fitbit Charge 4, Garmin Venu Sq, Apple Watch Series 6.
Taking these steps to boost your activity when working from home will boost your overall health and productivity, including your mental health as well. As you continue working from home, embrace the opportunity to plan your days accordingly to boost your activity, all in the comforts of your home. You can always keep improving. You don’t have to jump in all at once, doing small things incrementally will dramatically improve your health and productivity over time.