I work from home. How can I get more steps?
Working from home can be a life-changing experience for the soul, but it can also take a toll on your body. When you spend the day in soft pants, comfy from the waist down while sitting through Zoom and after Zoom, it’s tough to work in the physical activity that might have snuck into your day if you worked in an office. You might have walked to your car or taken public transportation to get there, walked to meetings or to lunch, or even just popped over to colleagues’ desks to chat. But don't worry! We've got you covered with these fun and engaging tips to help you walk more throughout the day.
Start the day right: With a walk before work!
Let’s be clear here: This morning walk isn’t about exercise at all, but about getting into the right state of mind for the day. A short, leisurely stroll before your day of working at home helps you loosen your muscles before long hours sitting in roughly the same position. What’s more, it helps you train yourself to recognize the boundary between work time and personal time. To make this habit stick, bring headphones and combine it with an episode of a short daily podcast or your favorite playlist, and make it a ritual!
Swap desks: Pick a treadmill desk or a standing desk
If you're able to invest in a treadmill desk or standing desk, it can make a huge impact on the number of steps you get while working at home. Since the trend of working at one of these desks is relatively new, researchers are still investigating their benefits. However, researchers at a Canadian university have reported that users of treadmill desks show measurable improvements in health stats like cholesterol and glucose, while the results on standing desks are less conclusive.
Once an hour: Don’t forget to stand up!
Besides the fact that working from home causes you to take fewer steps throughout the day, this lack of activity can increase stiffness and fatigue, which can negatively affect your concentration and creativity at work! To avoid turning into a statue crouched over a keyboard, be sure to stand up at least once an hour to stretch and move. Use one of the many apps or smart watches to remind you to stand, or use an old-fashioned kitchen timer. Design a short indoor walking circuit (for example: touch every light switch and doorknob in your house) or stretch routine the length of your favorite song, so the hourly activity becomes rote and you won’t resist getting up.
No-sit meetings: March in place during calls
This tip may not work for longer meetings, but how many times a day do you have shorter calls, say 15 minutes or less? If you often find yourself on quick calls to sync up with colleagues or clients, use that time to march in place. Even very slow steps are a great way to get your blood flowing and increase your step count for the day, while not getting out of breath!
No matter what methods you try, remember that it’s essential to make an effort to move when you’re working from home. By breaking up long periods of sitting and getting more steps each day, you'll feel healthier, work more efficiently, and enjoy knowing you’re taking good care of yourself!