Staying Fit as a Remote Worker: Top Tips
This entry was posted on October 12, 2017.
Remote working is the buzz these days. The distance barrier has been chipped away at for the last few years, and now, many more brands are open to some part of their workforce working remotely from any part of the world they choose. This has led to a rise in the number of people working from home and other comfort zones.
There are lots of benefits to telecommuting, but it has its challenges. One of such challenges is the danger of turning more people into couch potatoes. Think about it, most people working from home move from their bed to the kitchen and their work desk before retiring to the cushion after the workday. Fitness-wise, that’s a recipe for disaster.
Here are some points to note to ensure you remain fit as you enjoy all the whistles and bells that come with being a remote worker.
Be mindful of your work position
As a remote worker, you get to decide where you work. For many, it is on a desk in a part of the house (even if you can afford a home office). For some others, it is on the cushion or in their beds. Regardless of where you are working from, however, there is the danger of assuming a “comfortable” position for far too long.
This is why you should make sure your work position is one that isn’t too comfortable but instead, one that ensures you can maintain a better posture while remaining active. Sitting on an exercise ball offers the right balance. Interestingly, you don’t have to sit! A treadmill desk allows you to do your work while walking.
Move around every hour
Can’t work on an exercise ball and don’t want a treadmill desk? Remind yourself to move around every sixty minutes. There are lots of health dangers that come with sitting for hours on end each day. We are talking about cancer and heart disease among other things.
Admittedly, it is nigh impossible to condition yourself to get up every hour especially when there’s a lot of work to be done. So what do you do? Setting the alarm is the obvious option here. You need the will, however, to follow through and get up for 5 minutes.
We all know how hard it is to keep up with alarms so what do you do if you find yourself always ignoring the alarm? Lock yourself out of your computer! It is drastic, but if that’s what it takes to improve your health, it is a good deal surely? During the break, you can walk the dog, stretch or run up and down the stairs as long as you get to move your muscles.
Create a timetable
Depending on your position, it is easy to get sucked in by the flexibility of remote working. You don’t have to wake up at the same time as everyone else so that means you can stay in bed all morning and jump straight to your computer, a plate of cereal in hand when it is time to clock-in.
You could even find yourself missing lunch and most importantly, chopping and changing your workout routine. The flexibility is a positive, but it becomes dangerous when it threatens your fitness. Therefore, you need a timetable or a routine and make conscious efforts to stick by it.
Your routine should include at least half an hour of workouts daily for optimum fitness. Not sure how to free up an extra 30 minutes? How about waking up at the same time as people going on the commute?
Be alive to the risks of overworking
The average worker puts in eight hours of work a day. People working from home go above this average fairly regularly. Since they don’t have to factor in travel time, many begin working two hours earlier than the rest.
Unfortunately, the rigors of work sometimes mean many don’t take breaks, forget about lunch (or rush through it on their desk when they remember), and still work well beyond standard close times. When you overwork, you don’t just put your fitness at risk; your performance will wane over time. Some tips you should keep in mind;
- Have a work resumption and closure time set into your timetable as mentioned above.
- Shut down completely every weekend.
- Cut down on distractions that can have you working longer hours to compensate for lost time.
- NEVER eat at your desk because it is easier to pack on more calories this way.
When you are working from home, you will always be tempted to make that trip to the fridge for some bites. You should, therefore, ensure the fridge is stocked with healthy food at all times. This will help you balance out cravings instead of fighting them.
Some of the food options you should consider, depending on your cravings include Greek yogurt (non-fat), honey, low-fat popcorn, hot cocoa (sugar-free) and similar options. When you have balanced out your cravings with healthy foods, you need to commit to ensuring you are only eating when you have to. Eating as a way to fight boredom or stress should be avoided.
Work in your workout wears
It may be unrealistic to work in your tennis shoes and workout clothes every day of the week, but you should do so at least a couple of times a week.
Dressing for exercise makes it easier to work on a standing desk or a treadmill desk. It also ensures you can get the best out of those work breaks we have discussed above. How does a quick five-minute jog around the house sound? It is easier when you are already in your workout shoes.
When you keep your health and fitness in mind, you will be able to fully reap all the long-term benefits of remote working or working from home. Make a plan with all or some of the points we have discussed here in mind and be conscious about following your plan to the letter!