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Working from home has many perks, but it may leave you at-risk for developing a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy habits. It may be easy to forget about exercise when you’re home all day. The good news is you’re in control of keeping yourself active while also getting your work done; it all comes down to building healthy habits throughout the day.
This article explores the importance of an active lifestyle and how to get in your daily movement while still getting your work done.
The Importance of Being Active
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends most adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, such as brisk walking or light housework. Additionally, it’s recommended to do muscle-strengthening activities two or more days per week that target major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms). The good news is that you can spread your activity out during the week, so you don’t have to do it all at once.
Regular physical activity is vital for your health. There are numerous health benefits of physical activity. Most significantly, it can help maintain your weight and reduce your risk for high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke.
On top of the physical benefits of working out, research finds that exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve your mood and overall mental health. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which can help you healthily cope with daily stressors.
Tips for Staying Active
Some physical activity is better than none. Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. However, staying active while working from home can require self-discipline. Consider the following strategies for avoiding inactivity during your remote workday:
- Try a fake commute. A fake commute involves using a typical commute time period to transition and mentally set yourself up before working. Without a standard commute, you could exercise before or after your workday.
- Schedule your workout. If a fake commute doesn’t fit with your remote work routine, find ways to plan your exercise and stick to it. Building exercise into your daily planner can help you stay on track. If something comes up and you have to change a fitness appointment, reschedule it right away.
- Designate a workout spot. Find a room or corner in your home to be your workout space. You don’t need that much space for an efficient workout, just enough to move around a bit or lay down an exercise mat.
- Move every hour. It’s important not to be sedentary for long periods of time. Set a timer or use apps that remind you to stand up and move for a few minutes. Use that movement to grab a healthy snack, refill your water cup, or walk up and down the stairs.
- Go digital. Many apps, videos and on-demand programs are available to help you stay committed to exercise. Online memberships or streaming services can provide classes and workouts in the comfort of your home during workday breaks or lunchtime. You could even invite family and friends to join to increase accountability. Your employer may even offer such digital health and exercise resources.
- Keep it simple. If you already have hand weights, a yoga mat or exercise bands at home—great! If not, get creative with body-weight exercises, or consider using household items to add resistance to your routine.
Consistency is key with any fitness routine. Staying active at home makes you more likely to adopt fitness habits and live a healthy lifestyle. Health experts recommend talking to your doctor before starting new exercise programs.
By Casey Kirkeby, Strategy Consultant
Attention Employers and Organizational Leaders-
What is the latest trending benefit that is helping attract and retain talent? I’m sure you are now aware that working from home is more popular now than at any time in recent history. Now ,depending on industry and rules within the workplace, it may make sense to offer a subsidy to help with an employee’s work from home set-up. This article outlines what work-from-home subsidies are and explains when it might make sense to offer them.
By Jessica Carlson, Account Executive
Since March 2020 with the beginning of the Pandemic and the world shutting down, working from home has become more and more common. Even as we’re coming out of the pandemic more employers are not only allowing working from home, but some are requiring it. If you are like me, you struggled to be productive amid endless distractions. Dog must go out or will not stop barking, kids need to be fed, neighbors with people going in and out all day long, cats jumping in your lap in the middle of a zoom meeting, and the list goes on.
As soon as we could go back into the office I jumped at the chance, even if there was no one else there. But there are still days that’s it’s more convenient to not have to drive across town; so how have I been able to be productive on those days? I scoured the internet for tips and tricks. Some of the more effective tips I have listed here.
Set Up a Workstation
It’s important to have a space that is dedicated to work and only work. Try to find a spot that is away from the busyness of family life as they can distract you from focusing. You’ll want to make sure that you have all of tools you would normally have at the office, such as extra monitors. It is really difficult to go back to a single laptop monitor. And you will need to get a comfortable chair. After about a week of sitting at my table with a hard wood dining chair I borrowed my chair from the office. It was a life saver.
Stick to a Schedule
It is easy to log in early when all you have to do in the morning is turn on the computer. Or log off late when you do not have a commute home. For your own mental health, establish a routine and stick to it. Shut down your computer instead of leaving it on to check “just one more time”. Do not respond to emails when you’re watching a movie with your family. These boundaries are extremely important to separate your work and home life.
When you are in the office it’s easy to get up from your desk and have a quick walk about the office. When you are at home and a coworker needs you but you’re not readily available it’s easy to feel like people think you are slacking or not doing your job because you were not sitting at your computer at that exact moment that they tried to call you. If you do not take breaks you will start to feel worn down and fatigued. Get up! Take a walk. Go on a quick bike ride during lunch. Even if it’s just going outside for a few minutes of fresh air, do something to avoid the burn out.
The last, and possibly most important thing to help with productivity, is keeping connected. Communication can be difficult to maintain when your whole team works remotely. Schedule regular check in meetings. This has become a lot easier since Zoom and Microsoft Teams have come into play, since you can still meet face to face even if you’re not in the same place.