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Work from home tips: How to avoid sitting all day long

Eat intentionally

At home, we are tempted to graze on empty-nutrient snacks.

Maintain an eating structure. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nutrient-rich foods.

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Work from home tips: How to avoid sitting all day long

Work from home tips: How to avoid sitting all day long

https://www.inverse.com/mind-body/how-to-avoid-sitting-all-day-long-while-working-from-home

inverse.com

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Key Ideas

Unintended consequences

As we face weeks in lockdown, we seem to be sitting a whole lot more. Sitting for over six hours for days can cause a set of health problems. It can create cardio-metabolic problems and create issues with blood glucose levels or insulin levels, heart health, and disease risk.
However, we can take steps to avoid the negative consequences of a sedentary lifestyle while social distancing.

Schedule “movement breaks” 

Set a timer once an hour to remind you to move. Get up and move your body, walk up and down the stairs, or take a brisk loop around the block.

The movement needs to be reasonably active and needs to get you out of breath. Afterward, you will feel more productive.

Find an activity you love

Most people can find an activity that they enjoy. It could be walking the dog, doing pilates, or playing in the garden.

Find the activity you like and get value from and do that.

Avoid pain points and stretch

Sitting all day can drive lower back and shoulder pain. Typing away all day can cause carpal tunnel and strain the wrists. Some pointers to address these issues:

  • Make your desk and chair the appropriate height.
  • If you feel uncomfortable, touch your toes, or hug your knees while lying on your back to stretch the spine and get some relief.
  • Open up your chest to reverse some of the side effects of slumping.
  • Use a foam roller or arch your back to open up locked-up shoulders, chest, and neck.
  • Strengthen your core and glutes with bridges, lunges, or squats.

Eat intentionally

At home, we are tempted to graze on empty-nutrient snacks.

Maintain an eating structure. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nutrient-rich foods.

Move more

Exercise is not just a workout in the morning and at the end of the day. One single workout can't counteract a day of sitting still

Quick hits of spontaneous activity throughout the day can lead to significant health gains. It can also boost your mood and contribute to positive mental health.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Excessive sitting

Sitting for an extended period is linked with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and an increased risk of death from heart disease and cancer.

Excessive sitting may also slow metabolism, whi...

Just 30 minutes of activity...
... on 5 days each week (going to the gym, cycling to work, or going for a lunchtime walk) could prevent 1 in 12 deaths globally.

Injecting physical activity into your working day could reduce some of the health risks that are elevated by being sedentary.

Cycle or walk to work
  • Cycling to work has been linked with a reduced risk of death from all causes, and a lower cancer risk.
  • Both cycling and walking to work have also been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • People who walk or cycle to work have a lower body mass index (BMI) and body fat percentage in midlife than those who commute by car.
  • Those who actively commute to work also benefit from improved well-being and report feeling more able to concentrate and under less strain.

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Psychological Effects of Working from Home
  • Loneliness and isolation. And loneliness is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and somatic symptoms like random pain.
  • Anxiety and pressure. The bounda...
Symptoms of Depression
  • Angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration, even with unimportant matters.
  • Loss of interest or happiness in activities such as sex or hobbies.
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and sleeping too much.
  • Tiredness and lack of energy for even the smallest activities.
  • Increased cravings for food.
  • Anxiety, agitation, and restlessness.
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
  • Avoiding people.
Take Care of Your Mental Health

...while working from home:

  • Create a schedule and stick to it. Scheduling your tasks (and breaks) will help you to mentally prepare for the day.
  • Have a dedicated comfortable workspace, with a door that closes, preferably.
  • Fight the urge to stay sedentary and schedule active time to get your heart pumping.
  • Foster social connections (on the phone or via the internet, if physical contact is not possible).
  • Learn to say no. Know your limitations, set boundaries based on your schedule and workload, and don’t extend yourself beyond them.
Keeping fit

Everyone is stressed at the moment and are not sleeping well. Exercise can decrease stress and anxiety. Moving will likely improve your sleep.

Who can exercise
  • If you are under 70 with no underlying conditions, you can walk the dog, go for a run or a bike ride, provided you keep your distance.
  • If you are over 70 and self-isolating, or pregnant, or having an underlying health condition but feel well, you can also go outside for exercise while keeping your distance.
  • If you have symptoms, or someone in your household has them, it is essential to use movement and activity while isolating yourself.
  • If you are unwell, use your energy to get better, but not to be active.
  • If you are feeling better after having had the virus, return to your regular routine gradually.
Chair tricep dips
  • Sit on the edge of a chair holding onto the front with your hands.
  • Place your feet out in front of you (bent legs for easier option or straight legs to make it harder)
  • Lower your elbows to a 90-degree angle before pushing back up.

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Exercise Defined

Exercise is a  movement of the body to enhance physical fitness. 

Most people know that exercise is important for the physical development of the self, yet a majority of them are sk...

Decrease in Human Strength

Historic evidence suggests that for many thousands of years, human beings were more active and stronger than today. 

The early humans had increased movement and activity, like going for long and tiring hunts, walking long distances that took weeks, making the prehistoric humans fitter than the best athletes today.

Technology as the Culprit

Technological breakthroughs have reduced our activity to a great extent ( vacuum cleaners, washer-dryers, self-cleaning ovens, and even cars).

The rise of the internet gave us a whole lot of technology, curbing our need to move even more.

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High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

Any exercise can be a form of HIIT, if it follows a specific regimen where you vary your speeds and intensity when doing it.
Example:

  • Jogging light...
HIIT home workout

HIIT workouts generally only last about 20 minutes, which makes them attractive for busy people (most of us).
A 20-Min HIIT home workout:

  1. Dynamic Warm-up
  2. Bodyweight Squats
  3. Push-ups
  4. Star Jacks (or other dynamic exercises)
  5. Inverted Row (or other pull exercises)
  6. Plank (or other core exercises).
  7. A stretching to cool down.
Cardio exercise

Exercise offers a whole host of benefits to health and well-being. Cardiovascular exercises aim to get your heart rate up and increase blood circulation.

Walking is a great way to get active...

Strength & resistance exercises

Resistance and strength exercises can help strengthen your muscles. This is usually done on the spot and will not make you out of breath like cardio exercises.

Instead of using tools like weights or resistance bands, you can use tins of baked beans or bags of rice.

Flexibility, balance, and mobility

Strength and flexibility routines help balance, will reduce joint pain, and reduce the risk of falls.

Yoga, pilates, and tai chi are examples of flexibility exercises.

  • Walk more: it's one of the easiest, most convenient activities you can do.
  • Stand up at work: Work is a place where many of us are sedentary for hours.
  • Fid...
Prevent Tiredness

General tiredness affects the majority of people.

Here are a few basic ideas to have all-day energy:

  1. Respect your body's sleep cycle
  2. Move around
  3. Moderate coffee int...
Respecting your body's sleep cycle

It is imperative to sleep 7 to 9 hours for most adults.

An alarm clock or phone alarm can interfere with the body's sleep cycle to wake us up before a cycle is completed. It is healthier to sleep while not being simulated and wake up naturally.

Don't be a Couch Potato

Apart from rest, it is crucial to have a daily exercise routine and get some sun exposure regularly.

Human beings are designed to move and be in the sun, trekking and toiling for hours. If you are feeling tired, walking outside in nature and getting some sun will help.

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The “work first” mindset

Design your days around your work. Yes, there are other important things you have to take into consideration, but keeping your eyes your work signals that you are committed to getting your work don...

Don’t overdo it

If you start making mistakes and you feel dizzy after working a certain number of hours, don't overdo it.
This is a sensitive topic if you have a boss, but observe the number of hours you are functioning the best. If you have 7 hours of productive work in you per day, use them. But if your battery runs out after 5 hours, call it a day.

Productivity strategies

Experiment with them and find which one better suits you.
Create your own system for working from home. What works for other people might not work for you.

The new normal

Global companies, from the UK to the US, Japan to South Korea, have recently rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies amid the spread of the new virus.

Working from home will become t...

Clear communication

The key to working from home is clear communication with your boss. Your manager might not be used to managing people virtually or may not have a ready-to-go suite of tools for remote workers.

To prevent a breakdown in communication, you need to know exactly what's expected of you from day-to-day. Ask your boss for a 10-minute video call to start and end the day. Reach out to coworkers and managers regularly so that you won't get forgotten.

Treat it like a real job
  • Don't lounge around in your pajamas. Treat it like a real job.
  • Create a space exclusively for work that is removed from distractions, just like you would at your office desk.
  • Create boundaries within your home that your family members understand when you're 'at work.'
  • Bookend your day. If you can't enter and leave a physical office that creates more precise boundaries, use psychological transitions like a 20-minute coffee in the morning, then exercise right after work.

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