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Staying Physically Healthy While Working from Home

We've all sat in an office thinking about how much nicer it must be to work from home, and now more and more people are moving to their home offices than ever before. But in reality, being at home can mean we sit still too much and don't take care of our health. We can put weight on, develop heart problems, and oh the back pain! This guide is here to help you find easy ways to stay healthy and pain-free while you work from home.


Plan Physical Activity into Your Day

Planning physical activity into your work-from-home schedule can greatly benefit your overall health and well-being. Here are some ideas you can try to keep yourself moving:

  • Take a walk during your lunch break, and explore your neighborhood or a nearby park. Feeding some birds or listening to podcasts can also be very relaxing.

  • Set a reminder to do stretches every hour, releasing tension and improving your flexibility. Moving around gently is also a good way to wake yourself up after lunch!

  • Schedule short workout breaks for activities like jumping jacks, push-ups, or squats. Then you don't have to motivate yourself to go to the gym after a long working day.

  • Go for a bike ride. It's a zero-impact activity and great for when you want more of a challenge. You could post that package or visit your favorite place at the same time.

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator to increase your daily movement. Your destination is the same and it's a great lower body workout for free.

  • Dance! Put some of your favorite songs on and dance around your home.

Explore Online Home Workout Resources

The internet is a wonderful source of guided exercises you can do at home with minimal equipment. Here are some resources designed to help busy remote workers stay fit:


Take Regular Breaks

Regular breaks are extremely important for maintaining good health and productivity while you're working from home. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your break time:

Remind Yourself to Take Breaks

It's easy to forget to rest your body and mind when you are working at home, and working for too long without breaks can lead to low productivity and bad concentration. So use a timer or app to remind yourself to take a break every hour.

Pick an easy-to-use app that can automatically switch you from timed work periods to break times, and back again. Pomodoro timer apps are excellent because they are designed to break your day into smaller parts for maximum concentration. The best apps to choose from are ones available on all your work devices, which also let you make your own routine.

Zapier created this helpful list of the best Pomodoro timers in 2024:

  • Pomodoro - a simplified web-browser-based Pomodoro timer.

  • Marinara Timer - a web-based Pomodoro timer you can share with your team.

  • Forest - a great Pomodoro timer for cell phones.

  • Session - the best timer for Apple users.

  • Toggl Track - an efficient Pomodoro timer that also tracks your working time.

Make Your Breaks Restful and Enjoyable

  • Physically step away from your workspace when you're on your breaks, to help separate your work and free time.

  • Do something you enjoy, like reading a book, listening to music, or spending time with your family or pets.

  • Focus on one activity at a time during your breaks, to allow yourself to fully recharge instead of multitasking.


Stay Hydrated

Bad things happen when you forget to drink water! It's easy to forget when you're busy, but staying hydrated helps keep you awake, concentrated, and healthy. After all, our bodies are about 60% water.

Here are some easy ways to remind yourself to drink water when you're working from home:

  • Carry a water bottle - keep a water bottle with you and take small sips regularly.

  • A full glass on your desk - Refill your glass whenever you run out of water.

  • Drink water with meals - drink a glass of water with each meal.

  • Avoid sugary drinks - limit sugary drinks, such as soda and fruit juice.

  • Pay attention to your thirst - listen to your body and drink water when you're thirsty.

  • 1 coffee 2 waters - drink 2 glasses of water for every cup of coffee you have.

Remember, you don't need to do them all, just try different combinations of hydration reminders until you find what works best for you.


Good Body Posture

Invest time in thinking about how you sit and stand because good posture (body position) can help you avoid a lot of pain and discomfort. The video below explains how to maintain good posture and why it's so important to your health.


Eat Healthily

Nobody likes the eating healthy option, but what we eat has a massive impact on our physical and mental well-being. An unhealthy diet is one of the biggest contributors to long-term diseases. Eating healthier can reduce your risk of diseases, help improve your energy levels, remove 'brain fog, and improve mental performance. So if you are ready, here are a few tips for improving your diet:

  • Plan ahead - Plan your meals and snacks in advance to make sure you always have healthy options available at home.

  • Variety - Include a variety of foods in your diet, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, non-processed fats, and lean proteins.

  • Healthy fats - Our brains need fats to work properly. To help with clear thinking and concentration, eat some non-processed, natural fats every day.

  • Less sugar and processed food - Avoid or limit sugary and processed foods, as these can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

  • Drink more water - Headaches, overheating, and brain fog can all be caused by dehydration. Try to drink 1 glass of water for every 2 cups of coffee.

  • Portion control - Try slowly reducing the portion sizes of your food. A slow change helps your body to keep up so you don't feel hungry.


Wrap Up

Our mental and physical health is at the center of how we feel, think, work, and live. Fitting healthy lifestyle choices around working from home can be a real challenge, there always seems to be something more important to do. Well, this is your reminder: looking after your health is the most important thing you can do for your career.

Take care of your body and mind with regular enjoyable and restful breaks, away from your workspace. Separate your work and private lives, so you can get things done and don't worry about work commitments in your free time. Find healthy ways to sit and stand when you work. Listen to your body and mind, and look for help when there are signs you might be unwell. Reach out to qualified professionals and stay in touch with your social circle so they can support you through difficult times. Feed your body a lot of what it needs and a little of what it wants, to keep a healthy balance between good nutrition and having some fun.


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