When you work remotely, it’s easy to find yourself stationed at a desk for hours at a time with no watercooler breaks, visits to coworkers’ cubicles, and walks to the office kitchen. Research shows that sitting for long periods of time poses dozens of health risks, including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, and excess body fat. Just because you work remotely doesn’t mean that you should be subject to any of these concerns.
There’s no reason to spend an afternoon glued to your desk, even if most of your work is done on a computer. Being healthy and remaining physically active throughout the work day depends on your decisions, and there are many simple ways to ensure that you’re engaging in the physical activity you need on a day-to-day basis. We’ve got our top five pointers for staying physically fit during the remote work day rounded up below. These tips aren’t difficult, and if you put in the effort to follow them, you’ll be feeling healthier in hours!
1. Get a standing desk that will keep you on your feet.
Standing desks have recently become a hit in the office furniture market, and it’s no surprise why. A standing desk allows the body to remain standing while still working on a computer or tabletop surface that would normally only be usable in a sitting position.
Many standing desks come built in a way that you can have them both lowered for a sitting position and raised for a standing position, meaning you don’t have to be standing constantly if you do choose to invest in a standing desk. As an added bonus, a recent study has shown that standing desks increase productivity in addition to health. So you’ll get your work completed faster and in a healthier way — who could complain about that?
2. Take breaks to stretch between assignments.
Sore back? Stiff neck? Taking the time to stretch every thirty-minutes or so can make a lifetime of difference in the way your body feels at the end of the day. Standing up and then stretching out your limbs, your back, and your neck is a great way to keep your body physically active during an otherwise stagnant remote work day.
Going to a few yoga classes and bringing your practice home can be useful for those who are really struggling with stiffness and pain. Whether it’s taking a stretch between every assignment or after every thirty-minute block, you’ll be doing your body a major service. If you find yourself forgetting to pause from work and take a stretch, set a timer to get you up and moving!
3. Schedule in walks around the neighborhood every couple hours.
One of the major benefits of working remotely is that you don’t have to be stuck inside an office all day long. Take advantage of your flexibility by scheduling in neighborhood walks every few hours. Walks can be short trips around the block or longer journeys to the local coffee shop or park.
You can also use your walk strategically by thinking through any major work obstacles that have you stumped at the desk. You do your best thinking while you’re walking, so don’t be afraid to get up and go for a stroll when you’re feeling antsy and out of ideas.
4. Don’t eat lunch at your desk.
It may be tempting, but eating your lunch at your desk is really not all that helpful. You’re less productive while you eat (the body’s not great at multitasking), and taking your lunch at your desk also prevents you from using your lunch hour to move around.
Instead of bringing a peanut butter and jelly to your keyboard, stand up in the kitchen while you make and eat your lunch. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, take your lunch to a closeby park to enjoy it outside of your house. In doing this, you’re also sneaking in an extra walk before you return back to your work station.
5. Pace the room while you take work calls.
Another small but beneficial habit to get into if you’re looking to stay physically active during the workday is to take your calls while standing and pacing a room. Similar to the human ability to have better ideas when walking, you’ll also hit on the same strand of creativity and innovation while you’re pacing a room.
Originally published on Remote.com