WFH hack: Less sitting, more movement

We all know that it’s not healthy to be sitting for long periods of time, but since we are all stuck in our homes for most (or all!) of the day, it’s difficult to not keep sitting especially for people who are working or studying from home.

Too much sitting, or inactivity for that matter, may increase our risks for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, deep-vein thrombosis, and metabolic syndrome. Research also found that sitting for longer than six hours per day increases one’s risk of anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.

Obviously, it is very important to move around and flex your muscles to break up long periods of sitting. But it’s not always easy to do that because there might be too much work to do, or because we simply forget to take breaks. Here are some tips to help you work healthier.

Download an app to remind you to take breaks every 30 minutes or every hour. You can also set your phone’s timer or use a clock or watch to set reminders.

If you’re up for it, try using an ergonomic standing desk for your computer. There are good adjustable ones available online.

Avoid sitting down immediately after meals. You can walk around the house or go outside for a quick walk up and down your street. It’s also an opportunity to take a breath of fresh air or to get some vitamin D.

When someone calls you, take the opportunity to walk around the room while talking to your caller. You can also do this when you have to send a text or message to someone.

Try to find opportunities to stand or walk, especially when you would normally be sitting down. For example, when watching TV, talking to a housemate, reading a book, etc. Make it a habit to get up and walk around.

Come up with a simple exercise routine and set a schedule for it. For example, you can spend 5 minutes doing it before starting work AND at the end of your work period. Joint exercises, standing stretches, or even a quick dance number would be great. It’s not just good for your body, it also benefits the mind.

Work on a chore. One of the best things about working from home is that we can squeeze some household chores into our workday. It’s a great opportunity to get some exercise, too! So spend a few minutes washing the dishes, tidying up a room, or watering the plants before going back to your chair.