We may have begun a brand new year, but that doesn’t mean we’ve left all of our 2020 habits behind. While the third-leading cause of death in Colorado is car accidents, many of us continue to drive a lot less than we did prior to the pandemic. After all, with fewer places to go and a growing need to slow down the transmission of COVID-19 nationwide, it’s no wonder that many Americans are staying home whenever possible.
And while telework existed long before the pandemic ever began, remote work has certainly become more widespread during this time. Even though many offices have reopened, employers across the country have allowed their staff to keep working from home for the foreseeable future. Since job seekers spend around 11 hours per week searching for the perfect position, it makes sense that business owners would want to keep their best workers by prioritizing their well-being and by allowing more flexibility through work-from-home programs.
There’s no doubt that remote work can help to keep employees safe by reducing viral transmission risks — and for many businesses, making the switch to telework can offer businesses like increased productivity and employee satisfaction. However, working from home can come with its drawbacks, like living a more sedentary lifestyle. If you spend all day working on the couch or in a chair located in your home office, you’re probably moving a lot less than you would if you were going to the office every day. And because it may be more tempting to work long hours when you can theoretically access everything you need at home, you might not be taking care of your body in the same way you did before. As a result, you’ll want to prioritize some kind of exercise routine (or at least make sure you get moving on a regular basis). Here are just a few fitness tips that remote workers can use to stay healthy while they stay home.
Take Frequent Stretch Breaks
Fitness isn’t just about working up a sweat or losing weight. At bare minimum, you need to move your body regularly to ensure your muscles and joints stay in shape. Think about carving out an extra 15 minutes into your morning routine for some stretches or take five-minute breaks throughout the day to get up and stretch your body. While it might not seem like a lot, you’ll feel a lot better throughout the day if you move just a little bit. Set an alarm in your phone every half hour if you need a reminder to stretch.
Get a Sit-Stand Desk
Working from the couch or an uncomfortable chair can aggravate all sorts of physical issues. While you shouldn’t necessarily stand the whole day, either, having a more versatile work area can encourage you to keep moving. A sit-stand desk can easily be adjusted whenever you need to take a load off or need to stand up while you work. If you’re in the market for a new desk for 2021 anyway, think about switching to a sit-stand model.
Add Home Workouts On Your Calendar
Just like any meeting, you should pencil in your home workouts. Add them to your work calendar and treat them like other important commitments that you can’t skip. Whether you do a yoga routine in the living room or simply create a routine of free weights, crunches, and squats, you can afford to make fitness a priority. You don’t even have to go to the gym, which can cut out wasted time and allow you to have a more productive day.
Try an Under-Desk Elliptical
If you miss using gym equipment but don’t have any room for fitness machines in your house, you can actually get a workout in while you work. There are under-desk ellipticals and bikes that you can get for an affordable price that will allow you to pedal while you get your professional tasks done. Under-desk workout equipment fits perfectly under sit-stand desks, but many of them also come with wheels for easy storage. For those who like the thought of multitasking, this can be a good way to burn calories without having to step away from your computer.
Walk During Lunch Breaks
Being cooped up in the house all day can be detrimental to your mental health. Spending just 10 or 15 minutes outside can help you to de-stress and allow you to come back to your desk feeling refreshed. If you can plan to take a slightly longer lunch each day to fit in some fitness, consider going for a brief walk around your neighborhood to get some fresh air and to add some steps to your routine. If yours is among the 46,300,000 U.S. households that own a dog, this can be a great opportunity to ensure your pup is getting enough exercise, as well. If your neighborhood isn’t especially walkable, you could bring your lunch to a local park; after doing a few laps, you could eat at an empty table or in your car before you head back home.
Wear Athleisure to Work
Another great way to motivate yourself to work out is to put on athletic gear at the start of your day. You can easily add an extra layer on top if you have an important virtual meeting, of course. But if you’re already wearing workout clothes and supportive footwear, you’ll probably find more excuses to stretch during the day or carve out time for a brief fitness routine after you’re done with your assignments. Wearing athleisure apparel can put you in the right frame of mind to get moving, rather than encourage you to veg out on the couch at the end of the day.
Staying active while you stay home can be a challenge, even for seasoned remote workers. With these tips in mind, you can prioritize your health and well-being in 2021.