Working from home is a big adjustment for most people. Whether you have been working a job that has you moving all day or are just transitioning from an office desk job to a home desk job, it’s hard to stay active when your whole routine has changed. Here are my 6 tips for staying active while working a desk job from home.
Before I started working from home, I was a waitress and personal trainer so I was on my feet and averaging 10-15,000 steps a day. So when I began working from home, my steps went as low as 900 steps per day. This huge drop in steps meant I was not burning anywhere near the number of calories my body was used to and if I wanted to maintain my weight, I needed to eat less, no thank you!
Aside from that, I was sitting in a chair all day and it was making me a little crazy. So I found a way to incorporate being active while working a sedentary job. Feel free to incorporate one or all of these into your daily workday depending on how much activity you are looking for.
How to Get More Steps in Working at Home
- Intermittent Walks
One of the great perks about working from home is you can usually take a work break whenever you want! So when I feel like I have been staring at the computer too long or I’m getting restless I will get up and take a 10-minute walk around my neighborhood. This is great to break up your day, get your daily dose of vitamin D and get you away from a screen for a few minutes. I like to take 2-3 short walks throughout my workday.
2. Schedule Your Workout
Making sure you have a set time to do your workout will keep you accountable for staying active. If I don’t schedule the time I am going to head to the gym, I will find so many reasons not to do it, especially if I am busy with work. I have a workout schedule for myself consisting of weight training every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 11 am. Make sure your health is a priority and get your movement in!
3. Housework Exercise
If you’re like me and some days you just don’t want to get out of your pajamas but want to get some movement in, take a break and do some housework. Usually doing the dishes, vacuuming, mopping, folding the laundry will give me some active movement and make me feel better about the state of my house. I can then go back to work feeling a little more organized and not like a lazy lump all day.
4. Set a Timer for Squats
If you’re trying to spread out your exercise throughout the day and want something quick to do, set a timer and do some squats. I like to set 3-4 timers throughout the day and when it goes off I will stop what I’m doing, stand at my desk, and do 10 squats. This takes me a minute and then I am back to work. This will help if you start to get that 3 pm tired feeling, just do some squats or really any other exercise you would prefer to do (pushups, jumping jacks, jump rope, lunges, etc.). Bonus points if you use a set of dumbbells for a little challenge!
5. Swap a Chair for an Exercise Ball
Sometimes when I am sitting I have the worst posture! I’m hunched over looking like a hunchback or I’m slouched in my chair with my feet up creating terrible alignment for my spine. Swapping out an exercise ball for your chair is a great way to improve your posture, engage your core, and have some fun by bouncing up and down. Because of the instability of an exercise ball, you are forced to engage your core muscles and help burn some calories while working. You can pick one of these up at a sporting goods store or I purchased this one off Amazon.
6. Invest in a Stand-up Desk
Getting a stand-up desk is a great way to be able to alternate between sitting and standing throughout your workday. Standing while working can help with slouching and back pain. Not to mention you burn more calories while standing over sitting. Sometimes I will do calf raises, stretches, march in place or walk side to side. Moving while working also increases your mood and productivity –win-win!
I know that a standing desk is an investment but if you plan to spend 40 hours a week at your desk it is more than worth it. The standing desk I use is the Autonomous SmartDesk Premium 2 which I love! It’s easy to use and can adjust to any level I need whether I am sitting, standing, or using an exercise ball. If you are looking for a more affordable option, check out the Rocelco Standing Desk Converter. This one goes on top of your existing desk and can be raised or lowered to your needs.
Working at a desk all day should not stop you from reaching your fitness goals. With these tips, you’ll be able to stick to your goals, be more productive and maybe improve your posture too! If you work at an office desk job, you can add in most of these tips as well. If staying active is important to you, implement some of these into your routine and make it happen!
I hope you find these tips helpful and use them daily. If you have been working from home for a while, what are some tips you have to stay active?