7 Ways to Stay Active When Working From Home
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Although lockdowns across the world are coming to an end, many workers are hoping to maintain a level of remote working. In fact, one survey found that only 12% of knowledge workers wanted to return to full-time office work.
Of course, it isn't strictly the choice of employees to decide whether they get to work from home. Yet with business leaders seeing the benefits of remote teams, such as cost savings, combined with the wide success of remote working and demand from employees, we are very likely to see a trend for more remote working post-covid.
This new way of working will clearly create some challenges for workers. For example, remaining active and healthy when you live and work in one location can be tricky.
In this guide, we walk you through 7 smart ways you can stay active whilst working from home.
Why stay active?
We are always told to stay active, but why? Here are just a few benefits:
Better health (such as reducing the risk of heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer)
Improve your mood
Increase sleep quality and energy levels
How do I stay active working from home?
1. Create a schedule (and stick to it)
Most of us find it difficult to stay active because we run out of time and energy...or if we are being honest, we run out of motivation. For most of us, saying 'I'll work out today' usually leads to it just not getting done.
Creating yourself a schedule is a great way to drive activity throughout the day. You can do this in any way that works for you, from booking in a set time for a run, HIIT workout or simply setting a timer to get up and walk around every couple of hours.
If we want to get all 'businessy' about it - it is good to set yourself SMART goals for activity. For example:
Specific - get up from your desk for a short walk
Measurable - walk for 10 minutes
Attainable - yes (it's just a short walk)
Relevant- yes (it's exercise)
Time-Bound - at 11 AM
Being clear about what you are going to do and when you are going to do it will make it much easier to hold yourself accountable.
2. Get a Standing Desks
Staying active isn't just about burning calories, it is also all about changing your perspective, boosting motivation and making you feel good. This is why a standing desk can be such a good option.
Although you may burn a few extra calories by standing to work, it isn't going to make a huge difference. However, the simple act of standing to work can help improve your posture, reduce back pain and boost productivity - ultimately making you feel better and helping motivate you.
You don't have to invest in a fancy standing desk (although they are pretty cool). Instead, you may buy an adjustable stand that can be used to turn most surfaces into a standing or sitting desk...or for a real budget option just pile up some books.
Walking is often an underappreciated way to keep active during the working day. It's simple, low impact and can really help boost your mood.
All you need to do is get up and walk.
Of course, there are added benefits to popping out the front door and enjoying the sunshine on your skin, but ultimately you may just do a few laps of the house to help stretch out your muscles.
You can add walking to other tasks to make them more beneficial. For example, when you get up to make a cup of coffee or to go to the toilet you could take the 'long route' around the house.
4. Try Some Yoga
Don't worry, you don't have to dress in multicoloured clothes, light incense and let out loud 'hummmmmmmms' to benefit from yoga. In fact, the major benefit of working from home means you can do a quick, beneficial yoga sequence right next to your desk.
There are loads of 'office' yoga routines on YouTube, so you will easily find one that suits you. Personally, we love this cone from Shona Vertue.
5. Workout First
We often start the day with the best intentions to get a good workout in, but our energy and motivation often take a beating as we get another email from 'that guy' or get stressed with ever-growing workloads.
This is why getting a workout in first thing in the morning can be a great idea. Not only does it mean you can tackle your workout before other work-based stresses sap your energy, but it also helps you start your day knowing you have already achieved something and can boost your energy for the rest of the day.
6. Take Out Your Frustration
Work can be frustrating, but unfortunately, we can't take it out on a really annoying customer or colleague (unless you are a professional cage fighter). One good way to bust stress and stay active is to find a way to energetically take your frustration out.
For example, if you have space you could install a punchbag in your home office so you can throw a few right hooks when it all gets a bit too much!
7. Set Challenges
Those of us who are ambitious in business are also often competitive. If this is you, try setting yourself challenges that combine work and activity throughout the day. They don't have to be huge, but they can make things a little more fun.
'I must finish this email AND do 20 star jumps before 3 PM' or 'I need to do 3 press-ups every time an email drops into my inbox'
Find Something that Suits You
We have given you a few great examples of how to stay active when working from home. Ultimately, you need to find ways to stay active that work for you.
If you find it very difficult to stay active in a certain way, then you are unlikely to actually do that activity. It is better to add a few, simple and easy activities to your day that you know you will stick to rather than committing to a huge amount and failing to achieve it.