Feeling like you are chained to your desk can happen whether you work remotely or in an office. But sometimes as a remote employee, calls get scheduled back-to-back and you just get stuck in your chair. Don’t let that happen!
Stress can run high during a regular work day. It can be even higher in our current, uncertain climate. That doesn’t mean you should get stuck in your office chair without moving all day in an effort to frantically meet deadlines or figure out how to effectively manage a remote team. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. You have to get up and move.
Why is Staying Active at Work Important?
Multiple studies show sitting for lengthy periods can be connected to poor posture, circulation, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity. None of that is good for you. Working remotely sometimes prompts even more sitting. Why?
During a remote work day, you might discover you can focus better and increase productivity without the usual office interruptions and distractions. Plus, since you don’t have to rush to get home, you might find yourself working later than usual or starting earlier in the morning.
What does that extra time at your desk do to your physical health, not to mention your mental well being? It’s not just physical fatigue that can harm you from sitting too much; your mental health also can take a hit.
How to Stay Active at Work
You can help yourself overcome this and stay on the move at the office or during a remote work day. You need to know how to stay active at work. Below are a few sneaky ways I’ve learned to keep moving while working remotely for the last five years.
Don’t sit for calls.
Get a good wireless headset so you can stretch, pace and move whenever possible while on a call. Yes, turning your camera on is important for social interaction, but for calls where you don’t need to be at your desk to use the camera, step away and get moving. Embrace the freedom. I’m known to pace my office and hall while talking. Get those steps in!
Use a standing desk wisely.
It’s great to get out of your chair and stand while working, if you have a setup that allows that. But, bear in mind, standing all day can also cause fatigue. Make sure you’re using the time standing to not just stay still, but to also move. Do a couple of squats every hour and challenge yourself while doing it. Don’t forget to sit down occasionally to change your position and take the weight off your feet, knees and legs.
Stay hydrated, but pace yourself. Using a regular-size glass for water will encourage you to walk away and refill the glass. You are no longer in the office and don’t need to use that giant jug to track your water intake. Change your tracking system by using a smaller glass and tally system by the sink. Getting up to fill that smaller cup will increase your movement and your steps.
Stretch or workout at lunch.
Work in a good stretching or workout routine as part of your regular lunch hour. (Yes...you should still take lunch while working remotely). YouTube has lots of recommendations for quick 5- or 10-minute yoga stretching videos. Make sure to stretch your shoulders and back before returning to your chair. Once you start doing this on a regular basis, you’ll notice the difference.
Just Keep Moving
While you might feel the urge to work beyond your scheduled hours or skip lunch, don’t fall into that trap. In fact, keep an eye out for our final blog in this series about how to shut down and shut off at the end of your remote work day.
In the meantime, keep in mind that when you stick to your traditional work schedule and don’t take regular breaks, you might sacrifice your physical and emotional health. You need to know how to stay active at work.
The trick is to keep moving throughout the day. Stand, walk, pace, stretch or even take a quick jog around the block at lunch. Remember: Don’t get stuck in your chair!