How are you doing? If you are one of the fortunate ones to be still employed, it might be time to go back to work after a restful Easter break.
But what does “back to work” mean right now? For many of us, it means back to work somewhere in our own home. If you are lucky, you might have a home office all to yourself. Otherwise, the desk, dining or kitchen table needs to be shared with your partner/spouse who also works from home. And as of today, the sharing of space extends to the kids with their online learning for school. So many laptops, so many personalities, so many adjustments for all ages.
We spoke to a parent last week who told us how difficult it was to have everybody at home under the same roof. Her whole daily routine was thrown off, and walking the dog was her only reprieve. And this is not even mentioning all the parents who have to do additional home schooling now.
Despite all the inconveniences and struggles we are seeing so much resilience and willingness to adapt to the new and weird circumstances. Everyone’s sense of humour seems to be largely intact, thank goodness.
Tips for Movement at Work in Your Home Environment
As far as work from home is concerned make sure that your desk is set up as ergonomically and comfortably as possible. For more information on how to set up your ‘office’, you might find this checklist from the National Institute of Health useful. It’s worth going through. Even little adjustments can make a huge difference to your joints, muscles and ligaments.
It’s easy to move substantially less if you are working from home. So put some routines in place. At home you have a wonderful opportunity to utilise your breaks productively and healthily. It does help if you are already dressed in your comfortable, activewear for work, now that you can give fancy outfits the flick.
Set a timer to get up and move every half hour or at least every hour for 5 minutes.
We experimented with an app called Pomodoro, which works a treat.
This app makes sure that you implement breaks during sedentary work (Pomodoro technique). It was developed in the 1980s as a time management method. It utilises a timer to break down work into 25 minutes intervals, followed by short breaks, which are ideal for ‘movement snacks’. Research has shown that integrating regular short breaks into your work routine enhances productivity. Give it a go. It is amazing how quickly 25 minutes passes by if you are made aware of it.
What can you do in the breaks:
- 4 rounds of squats for 30 sec with 30-sec break using the back of the chair as a stabiliser, or
- 4 rounds of star jumps or
- 4 rounds of running on the spot to name a few exercises.
We recently discovered ‘The Body Coach’, Joe Wick, on YouTube. He is a funny, affable guy from the UK, who has been teaching his work for years online. COVID-19 has propelled him to phenomenal fame within a few weeks! Check it out here. He does a live class every day from Monday to Friday for 30 minutes and has now over million viewers watching. All his exercises are done without equipment.
Joe offers all sorts of exercises for home. Some of his video clips are ideal for desk work breaks, especially the ones suggested here:
- 10 Minute Home Chair Workout for Seniors (don’t worry about the term ‘senior’, the exercises are ideal for desk breaks)
- 10 Minute Chair-Based Workout
Last not least, don’t forget to have a clear set up of work and leisure. Start and finish work at a particular time of the day. Otherwise, the boundaries can get blurry, and before you know it you are working longer hours than anticipated.
Next time we will introduce you to exercises and movement routines outside work.
Also, stay tuned to our Facebook posts. We have joined the online community by bringing out some video clips on tips for home.
Please let us know if you have any questions or feedback. We are always happy to hear from you.