Working from home? Get active.
Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership, Active Oxfordshire and Oxfordshire All In are encouraging us to get moving for our mental health and wellbeing
One of the biggest challenges when 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
Although aiming to 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 will not 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 Oxfordshire Mindfulness Centre is uploading a free Mindfulness session including one week looking at how to incorporate mindfulness in your everyday routine.
The BBC has some great working from home and mindfulness tips.
Stand up for phone calls
Every time you make or answer a call, get up and move around. You will likely pace up and down, adding up to an extra 20 per cent to the amount of energy you spend in a day.
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.
When you stand, rather than sit, your bones are carrying your weight. This can potentially help you avoid 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 or 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 be more productive when you return. Make your break as efficient as possible by drinking a small amount of water or a hot drink without caffeine, and climb the stairs once or twice.
Why not try a quick online workout. you can find ideas by searching on social media using the hashstag #stayinworkout.
Or what about an NHS 10 minute workout.
It is tempting to get stuck at your desk for hours on end. Setting your workstation up correctly will help your posture in the long-term. There are also a series of exercises that will keep you feeling fresh and prevent aches and pains from being hunched over the laptop.
- NHS sitting exercises
- Chest stretches – put your arms out wide and push your chest outward, and then bring your arms back around your body and hunch your back. Repeat this three 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.
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Published: 1 June 2020