From smartphones, streaming to subscriptions and staying at home, modern life doesn’t really give us many opportunities to move.
Even before the pandemic, sedentary living went up by 8% between 2002 and 2017, according to research published by BMC Public Health. More European adults than ever sit down for more than four-and-a-half hours every day.
If you’re working from home, you’ve probably found fewer reasons to sit less and move more too. No journey to the office, no stairs to stomp up, no quick walk to a workmate’s desk… we have to make room for more physical activity into our day within our four walls instead.
Bring these four feel-good habits into your daily routine to make working from home work for you and your body.
Sit less and move more – 4 tips to avoid a sedentary lifestyle
1 – Stretch out stress hormones
Your body keeps the score. So when you’re feeling fear, anxiety, or one of the countless other post-pandemic emotions, opening up places where this stress is stored is a wise move.
Try this: Much of our anger and tension is held in our chests. Any time you feel tight-chested, hit the floor and do 15-20 glute bridges for 3 seconds each. Alternatively, try a little backbend while you wait for the kettle to boil. You’ll return to your desk feeling definitely lighter.
2 – Establish an exercise routine
We totally understand how difficult the past year’s been to find the get-up-and-go for a workout. As always, it comes down to building new habits. Treat your fitness like any other important calendar event – write it down and don’t miss it.
Try this: Best time to schedule a workout? Anytime. Best place to exercise? The gym. When you come to your local club, you know you’re there for a reason. You’re around people with a shared purpose, working out on cutting-edge equipment, alongside personal trainers who can guide you through your workouts. And once you make space in your day to exercise — you’ll conquer the rest of it.
3 – Schedule in shake breaks
Our response to a busy workload? Sit in front of the laptop until it’s done. That’s a long time on your office chair (or sofa, we see you). But being stuck in your chair will only make your mind and body feel more sluggish. It can actually be more productive if you sit less and move more.
Try this: Set a timer for every 30 mins, making sure you stand up, walk to another room, have a stretch, do some jumping jacks, or… do some shake breaks. The beauty of nobody being able to see you is that you can literally stand up and shake your whole body, then get back to it.
4 – Walk and work
A study at Stanford University found that walking boosts creative output by 60% – great news for those required to come up with new ideas or fresh perspectives in their jobs. Of course, it’s also a brilliant way to be doubly productive – drumming up inspiration and exercising at the same time.
Try this: Next time you have a meeting with a client or colleague, take your phone for a walk. Either walk around your home or head for a wander in the park. Hey, if it worked for Steve Jobs, it’s worth a go, right?