5 Ways to Move More While Working From Home
Do you move enough?
Before COVID-19, 7.9% of the world’s workforce (260 million workers) worked from home on a permanent basis, according to VOXEU. Now, we know that during the pandemic a larger number of people worked from home, but now some of them are going back to the office. Even so, 16% of companies globally are fully remote and 55% of brands around the world offer some opportunities for remote work, according to Earthweb statistics. We don’t know yet for sure how many people are working remotely globally now the pandemic seems to come to an end, but with more remote opportunities we are looking at a future where a lot of us don’t need to go to an office anymore.
I’ve been working remotely for the past 2 years, and while I prefer this way, one thing that changed is how much I move during the day. At a desk office, you don’t move too much anyway, but you can still walk some of the way there and you move more in the office as well. Now that a part of the world is transitioning into permanent remote work we need to upgrade how active we are.
While I love to exercise and walk, I still fell into the illusion that I moved enough while working from home. Truth be told, besides my workout routine and a few walks now and then I was not an active person anymore. So, I’ve started to look for ways that will make me move more into the house. There are plenty, and I will share some that worked for me and some that I still want to try:
- Get up every hour. You can simply use a timer or if you have a fitness tracker some of them can be set to alert you when you’ve sat for too long. I usually go and drink some water, make tea or simply stroll back and forth a few times. Sometimes I do 10 jumping jacks, push-ups, or sit-ups, not every hour, but at least once or twice per day to get my heart rate up.
- Stand and work. I recommend a standing desk, but if you want the cheap version try a bed tray table, I am using one and it works perfectly. Just put your laptop on it and then put it standing on the desk and you are good to go. Find a rule that suits you such as stand during calls, stand when you check e-mails or when you need to complete a spreadsheet.
- Wrist waits. Try a pair of wrist waits and work your arms while typing. Add a few arm circles from time to time and see how you feel.
- Stretch. Don’t the power of a good stretch and a few deep breaths. Start with stretching out your chest and extend your spine to reverse the hunched position of sitting. This will help reduce back and neck pain as well as make your feel more energized. Then stay straight and take 5 deep breaths with your eyes closed.
- Fidget more. Tapping your toe, shaking your legs, moving back and forth with the chair, you know that colleague that seems to have too much energy and annoys everyone, well it’s time to be than one. Dr. Huberman explains in one of his podcasts that fidgeting helps burn more calories and it’s actually an important element for weight loss. This is called non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT, which may be one factor that separates lean people from their heftier counterparts.
Moving more can be tricky especially when we are not aware of our inactivity level. I think starting with one action and building from there helps. Don’t be too harsh with yourself, as we basically try to reprogram ourselves in a new working environment, that most of the time invites us to be more comfortable rather than active. I think that being able to work from home is amazing and of course, not everyone likes this, but for the ones that do, I hope this shortlist will make you consider how you move at home not only in the gym.
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