Tips to Avoid Prolonged Sitting When Working From Home

By ErinRose Baldry

Tips to Avoid Prolonged Sitting When Working From Home

As a society, we are at even higher risk of health complications than previously, with more people working from home than ever before. According to the American Heart Association, sedentary jobs are at an all time high and have increased by more than 80 percent since 1950. Whereas physically active jobs currently comprise less than 20 percent of the US workforce, compared to approximately half of the workforce in 1960. Our levels of physical activity have come to a grinding halt. Sedentary lifestyles and prolonged periods of sitting are linked to a myriad of health concerns including obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, anxiety, depression, weakened muscles, poor posture, chronic fatigue, back pain and varicose veins, to name a few. It is a necessity to prioritize an active lifestyle with movement as part of our everyday routines, in order to help prevent these increased health and wellness risks. Here are some helpful tips to increase your levels of activity and movement throughout the day, in order to avoid prolonged periods of sitting. 

Move

Make time to get up and walk. Wherever possible, take calls or digital meetings from your phone while taking a walk outdoors. The fresh air and movement will help stretch your muscles and clear your head.  

Distance yourself

Create space and distance between yourself and frequently utilized resources or tools. For example, have your printer, garbage or office supplies on the other side of the room. Therefore, when you need to access them, it necessitates getting up and walking over to them. 

Use the space at your desk

There are various exercises, stretches and movement patterns that can be practiced from your desk, sitting or standing. This enables us to move and utilize our muscles without breaking our focus while working. 

Keep things visible and handy

Incorporate some light exercise equipment and tools in your office that are visible and accessible, you are more likely to use them if they are nearby and on display as a reminder. This could include, light weights, a mat and some resistance bands.

Set a timer

Use your phone or watch as a reminder by setting a timer reminder to get up and move every 30 minutes.

Block time

By blocking time in your calendar daily to exercise, you will not schedule meetings or work during this allotted time. In turn, this will help keep you accountable and on track for your daily movement goals. 

Take mindful, purposeful breaks

Whether it is simply a brain break, or time for a snack, or meal, make your breaks count and a deliberate and mindful break from your screen. Use the precious few minutes away from the screen to allow your mind to reflect, recharge and prepare for the next work activity. 

Why prioritizing movement is beneficial?

Not only does movement reduce the likelihood of developing the aforementioned health risks, it also helps to improve your concentration, aids with better sleep, gives you an excuse to get out of the house for fresh air, and stops you from feeling isolated. It also aids with boosting your mood and energy levels, win, win all around!

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Orignially published on October 23, 2020, updated on October 23, 2020

Topic: Diabetes Management

ErinRose Baldry

About ErinRose Baldry

ErinRose Baldry is an ACE Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer. She integrates her knowledge in fitness, wellness, cooking and nutrition to offer dynamic, engaging, relevant information for her clients and in her writing. She provides effective, manageable guidance and tips for all populations who aim to be the best version of themselves both in health and fitness. In addition, she advocates for local charities and educates families on the importance of healthy eating, nutrition and exercise.