Being Active when you’re working from home

One of the biggest problems from working at home is inactivity. Our main reaction to a busy workload is to sit for as long as possible until the task is done. Before you know it, hours have gone by and you have not moved from your chair!

Excessive sitting can affect your metabolism, increase blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol and lead to weight gained around the waist – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Remaining in one posture for hours at a time can also affect the muscles in your back, neck, hip flexors, hamstrings and calves

Schedule a workout in your diary

Whilst you can make promises to yourself that you will exercise every day, the chances are you will find excuses to miss it out. Just as you schedule your diary to organise your workload and meetings, you should find time to exercise.

Treat exercise with the same priority as a phone call with a client. Blocking out time away from your desk means that you are more likely to do it.

Play around with different times in the day to find what suits you. Forcing yourself to follow a routine that does not feel right sets yourself up for failure as you won’t stick to it.

Have a digital detox

Reduce excessive screen time and try activities that bring awareness back into the present such as mindfulness or yoga.

Each week the Oxfordshire Mindfulness Centre are uploading a free Mindfulness session which focus on a variety of things including one week looking at how to incorporate mindfulness in your everyday routine. (https://www.oxfordmindfulness.org/)

Some great working from home and mindfulness tips and  ideas are available from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/mindfulness-tips-working-home

Stand up for phone calls

Every time you make or answer a call, get up and move around. You’ll likely pace up and down, adding up to an extra 20% to your total daily energy expenditure.

Make the most of all your space to move as it keeps up your step count. You could even set yourself a step target for each call you have.

As well as that, you’ll also load your bones by standing, potentially avoiding osteoporosis in later life. Getting up out of your chair and moving around is great for your back too, in order to keep it mobile and flexible.

Break from your desk/ workstation every 30 minutes

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends leaving your desk every 30 minutes, even if only briefly. Good for your brain and your body, a quick break in focus allows you to reset and return more productive too. Make your break as efficient as possible by drinking a small amount of water or hot drink without caffeine, and climb the stairs once or twice.

Why not try a quick online workout. Gain ideas from #stayinworkout 

Or a great 10 minute workout  https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/10-minute-workouts/

Stretches

It’s tempting to get stuck at your desk for hours on end but we’re creatures who are designed to move. Having your workstation set up correctly does much to look after your posture long-term, but there are a series of exercises that will keep you feeling fresh and prevent aches and pains from being hunched over the laptop. Here’s a link which will guide you through: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/sitting-exercises/

Other simple and easy stretches to do are:

  • Chest stretches – put your arms out wide & push your chest outward, and then bring your arms back around your body and hunch your back. Repeat this 3 times regularly.
  • Foot rotations – with each foot draw a circle in the air in both directions (left and right), as well as back and forth. Repeat both feet alternately, and do this regularly.

Why not also try some “deskercise” suggested by Milton Park https://www.miltonpark.co.uk/blog/desk-yoga-and-deskercise