The magic number these days is 10,000: 10,000 steps every day to stay fit. Working from home makes it harder to hit that goal because it removes the opportunities for “shadow exercise:” those times we walk for a purpose rather than just for exercise. For example, if you live in a city and work at an office, chances are you walk to and from the office or the metro stop twice a day. That’s at least 2,000 steps right there. Once in the office, you probably walk a few times a day to the printer, bathrooms, colleagues’ offices, or conference rooms. That can easily add about 500 more steps or more per day. When you work from home, however, your longest walk might be from your bedroom to your office. All that extra sitting can make your body feel stiff and achy and cloud your thinking.
Staying fit when working from home takes an extra effort. Consider trying these tips:
- Sit for thinking; stand for talking: A convertible desk sits on top of your regular desk and enables you to alternate between standing and sitting. If you need to focus on your work, work sitting down. When you do less brain-intensive work, like phone calls or emails, switch to standing. This gives your back, bottom, and thighs a break and prevents back pain and muscle fatigue.
- Move at intervals: Being in any position for too long causes muscles to stiffen. Back experts recommend a 60-10 routine: sit for 60 minutes; stand for 10. Getting the blood flowing increases oxygen to all parts of the body. That makes you less achy and improves your focus and thought processes.
- Mobilize your conference calls: If you have a longer call where you know you do not need to say much or take many notes, take the call on your mobile phone as you go for a walk. Walking for exercise while listening to less interactive calls makes both activities more tolerable.
- Schedule mid-day walks: On days without calls, set an appointment on your calendar to take a walk or exercise class. Blocking an hour or two on the calendar increases the likelihood that you will actually exercise, as the appointment alarm is your reminder. Without the reminder, you are more likely to become absorbed in your work and lose track of time. The beauty of working from home is that you have the flexibility to move your hours around. If you take off from 12:00 – 2:00, then just add the two hours to the end of your work day to make up the lost time.
Remember: a healthy body is a more productive body! Physical activity wakes you up and helps you think better.
Looking for more ideas for how to make your staff or yourself more productive? Contact Comprehensive Learning Solutions to learn more about our team training options.