Working from home has become the new normal and this new routine has blurred the lines between timings, dates, days and sleep schedules for many. With a notebook in one hand and a spatula in the other, there’s no place for dumbbells or a Dyna-band.
But while we juggle between household chores and office tasks, the lack of physical exercises can take a huge hit on our postures and health, especially for those who love working on their beds!
To help you multi-task and erase these blurred lines we’ve put together simple pointers you can follow in between work hours and few that you can follow right from your desks. Some of these are extremely simple and basic, so make no excuses and just follow them.
1) Stretch it Out
Small breaks to stretch are extremely important to wake your body up and make you feel productive especially for those who tend to feel sleepy while working from home.
According to Katie Anderson, Head of Training at FLY LDN, a few regular stretches will help stimulate you and get the blood flowing nicely. These stretches include the classic down dog to up dog flow which is a great chest and leg opener.
Other than these, here are some stretches you can do from your desk
2) Arm Circles
Doing a few arm circles during the day can be a great way to help remind yourself to reset your posture, which can often suffer when sitting for extended periods of time.
3) Shoulder Shrug
Gently lift your shoulders and let them slowly fall. You should feel the tension being released as your shoulders drop. These help in releasing the tension in the neck and in the shoulders.
4) Torso Twist
This one is supposed to be good to relieve lower back pain. For this move, inhale and as you exhale, turn to the right and grab the back of your chair with your right hand, and grab the arm of the chair with your left. With eyes level, use your grasp on the chair to help twist your torso around as far to the back of the room as possible. Hold the twist and let your eyes continue the stretch --see how far around the room you can peer. Repeat on the other side.
Side-to-side head rotations may help decrease tightness in the sides and back of your neck and also help increase mobility in your neck. You can do side-to-side head rotations while on your back, standing, or sitting.
Workout with Work
Other than the above stretches you can also follow a few exercises during work hours at home to improve your posture and help in blood circulation.
Squeeze and Burn
This seated-desk exercise is great for when you’re working at home. No need to even leave your chair. To do this, work your buttocks into a firmer shape while you sit. Focus on squeezing your posterior muscles together as firmly as you can. Hold that position for up to 15 seconds. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
At least a minute or two each day should go into building up your muscle strength and level of endurance. To do so, stand with your back up against a sturdy wall, back straight, bend your knees and then simultaneously slide down the wall. The goal is to end up with your upper legs parallel to the floor. You should hold this pose for at least 60 seconds and repeat the process 10 times.
Using desk stationary one can easily convert their home office into a gym. Just grab something slightly heavy like a paperweight or even bottled water with your palms facing upward while you are in a sitting or standing position. Starting with your arms fully extended in front of you, begin at the thigh level and slowly curl them up toward your chest. Then, slowly release the arms back down to the upper thighs. This will strengthen biceps, as well as help with forearm muscles cramps from too much typing. Repeat this motion at least a dozen times.
After sitting so long legs can feel numb, to alleviate this serious lack of circulation position your feet flat on the floor and make a tapping motion with each foot simultaneously as rapidly as you can. Do this in intervals of 30 seconds each at least several times a day, especially if you sit for long periods of time.
No Slump, Slide & Sleep
Working from home doesn’t mean you can lie down in bed or slump and slide while you work. Get into the right posture to avoid developing issues like fatigue, headaches,
backaches, neck pains, and MSDs (musculoskeletal disorders). A lot of these issues might not surface at the moment but could crop up in the future. Also, posture could hamper productivity. To improve your posture both for better productivity follow this-
Invest in the Right Furniture
We cannot harp on the importance of ergonomic chairs and desks for a better posture especially when you’re going to be working from home more often than before and that too for long hours. Such a chair usually has adjustable features like seat heights, armrests and backrests to ensure maximum comfort, excellent lumbar support and enough back support. To leverage the benefits of this chair fully for your posture you need to adjust the desk at the right height. An ideal set of proper positioning is when one can type on the keyboard with their elbows bent at around 90 degrees. In case you do not have such a chair at home, take enough breaks or change your posture after every 20
Keep the Movement Going
Move around the house occasionally if you’re going to be working for long periods of time at your desk. Coffee breaks, conference calls, and checking your emails all can be done while you walk around the house.
P.S. Whip up some of your own Dalgona coffee which is trending nowadays and it doesn’t only taste good but is a great arm workout!
Other Tips to Keep in Mind -
- Stand and work once in a while but make sure you don’t slouch
- Place cushions for back support if you’re working from your sofa or bed
- Always make sure you keep your screen at eye level
- Use a wireless mouse and a keyboard if possible, to keep the screen at your arm’s length while typing.
- Take BREAKS
- Use a laptop stand or place your laptop on a desk or solid surface to avoid the heat on your lap
- Stretch and exercise daily
Having said that along with physical health, mental health is equally important, meditate and practise breathing exercise, go for a walk or do some yoga on your terrace, all this is extremely important especially during a time. Lastly, let’s all stay home and stay safe and aim to become fitter and stronger after this lockdown.