Staying active while working from home
23 March 2022
Health and well-being tips for your work, home and life—brought to you by the insurance professionals at Hazelton Mountford.
STAYING ACTIVE WHILE WORKING FROM HOME
Working from home has many benefits, but it may leave you at risk of establishing a sedentary lifestyle and developing unhealthy habits. After all, it can 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 keeping an active lifestyle and outlines how to maintain your daily exercise levels while still being a productive remote employee.
The Importance of Being Active
The NHS recommends most adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity every week. Moderate activities include brisk walking, hiking and water aerobics, while running and swimming are examples of vigorous activities. Additionally, it’s recommended to perform muscle-strengthening activities two or more days each week. These activities should target major muscle groups, such as the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms. Fortunately, you can spread your physical 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 such activity. Most significantly, it can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke.
Apart from the physical benefits of working out, research finds that exercise can help reduce anxiety, improve your mood and boost your overall mental health. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which can help you cope with daily stressors in a healthy way.
Tips for Staying Active
Some physical activity is better than none. In other words, 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 commit to it. Building exercise into your daily routine can help you stay consistent. If something comes up and you have to change your fitness plans, reschedule them straight away.
- Designate a workout area. Find a room or area 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, hydrate, or walk up and down the stairs.
- Go digital. Many apps, videos and on-demand programmes 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 also invite family and friends to join to increase accountability. Your employer may even offer digital health and exercise resources.
- Keep it simple. Dumbbells, a yoga mat or resistance bands are all great for exercising at home, but if you don’t have access to this equipment, there are other options. 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 effective fitness habits and live a healthy lifestyle. Health experts recommend talking to your GP before starting new exercise programmes.