For many people, the extreme change of pace from a busy office environment to a remote work set-up has taken its toll on health, particularly due to being less active. Recent research finds that reduced physical activity while working from home is correlated with lower overall well-being. Workplace wellness programs that encourage exercise while working from home can help remote employees maintain their physical and mental well-being.
With this guide to increasing exercise while working from home, you’ll feel inspired with new ways to stay fit while continuing to work remotely. We also offer some ideas for simple home exercises you can do whenever you need a break.
Top Tips for Staying Active While Working From Home
Staying fit while working from home is essential to your physical and mental well-being. Exercise can also prevent illness and fatigue, helping you stay healthy and focused at work.
If working from home has impacted your normal fitness routine, then you need new inspiration to help you stay active while working remotely.
Below are six different ways to help you work out while working from home.
1. Set Movement Alerts
Working at a desk for extended periods is a major barrier to getting enough aerobic activity. When you’re deep into an important proposal or project, the last thing you’re thinking about is whether you’ve walked enough steps today. But being aware of your movement habits is critical if you want to increase the amount of exercise you get in a day.
Apps like Todoist, Apple Reminders, and even the alarm function on your phone provide simple ways to remind yourself throughout the day to take movement breaks. Aim for a short movement break every 30-45 minutes to get your blood flowing. Incorporate longer breaks every 90 minutes where you walk around the block for 15 minutes.
2. Schedule Your Workouts
Working from home often makes us feel like we have more time than we do, causing us to postpone working out until later in the day. If you often miss your daily workout, consider how you can use your schedule to help you stick to your exercise goals.
Many people prefer to work out in the morning to get it out of the way and start the day invigorated. Others may prefer to take an extended lunch break and hit the weights or treadmill mid-day. Still, others wind down with an intense cardio session in the evening. Whichever workout time you prefer, schedule it every day to increase the likelihood you’ll make it happen.
3. Join a Virtual Fitness Class
Working out with others, whether in person or virtually, can help boost motivation, accountability, and enjoyment. While working from home, virtual fitness classes can help you stay on track with your exercise habits without having to go anywhere, which is one of the best benefits of working out at home.
Today, there are countless types of fitness classes to choose from, including:
- Yoga, pilates, or barre
- Tabata and high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
Try a few different kinds of exercise to discover the one you want to stick with. Many workplaces host their own fitness classes for remote employees or provide access to virtual group classes.
4. Do Bodyweight Workouts
Sometimes you feel like doing your own thing when working out, and that’s what bodyweight workouts are for. With bodyweight exercises, you use your own weight as resistance against gravity to help build muscle.
With at-home bodyweight workouts, you can make use of household items. For example, turn a chair or coffee table into a bench. If you’ve got nice weather, take your workout outdoors, using your backyard or neighborhood park as your gym.
5. Try Multiple Shorter Workouts
One good way to increase productivity and focus while working from home is to take multiple shorter breaks that incorporate exercise. Rather than taking an hour lunch break, take a half-hour and save the remaining 30 minutes for three 10-minute workouts.
Even 10-minute working from home exercise breaks are enough to get your heart pumping, giving you a boost of energy for more focus and motivation. Exercise breaks can include anything from going for a quick jog to practicing calisthenics in your living room.
6. Invest in Home Exercise Equipment
To get in a good sweat every day, consider investing in home exercise equipment, including cardio machines, weights, and other fitness products.
Below is some popular work at home fitness gear for your home gym:
- Exercise machines, like a stationary bike, treadmill, or elliptical
- Fitness equipment, like bands, jump ropes, medicine balls, or plyo boxes
- Adjustable dumbbell or kettlebell sets
- Accessories and recovery products, like mats, benches, foam rollers, and massage guns
Having the right gear not only helps improve the intensity and quality of your workouts but can increase your motivation too.
Top Work From Home Exercises
Now that you’re armed with simple ways to stay active while working from home, you might be wondering what types of exercises to do during workout breaks. Even without fitness equipment, there are plenty of work-from-home exercises you can do whenever you need a movement break.
Try the following exercises to do while working from home:
- Planks: Hold yourself in a plank position, with hands under shoulders and toes firmly planted. Try 3 rounds of 30-second holds.
- Leg lifts: Lie on your back with your arms flat beside you and raise your legs off the ground, keeping them straight. Try 3 sets of 10-15 leg lifts.
- Squats: Work your core and glutes with box squats, sitting back into your chair. Or hold yourself in a squat position with your back against the wall.
- Curls: Perform stationary curls while seated at your desk using a filled water bottle or another weighted item.
- Stretches: Do back, neck, and shoulder stretches throughout the day while seated at your desk to prevent stiffness and pain.
Encourage Work-From-Home Fitness With Workplace Wellness Programs
Staying physically active is critical to the health and well-being of remote workers. Online wellness programs and virtual fitness classes encourage employees to stay active, healthy, and engaged.
Educating employees about easy ways to keep fit while working from home can help them improve their overall well-being. Workplace wellness programs offer employees the tools and support they need to develop their personal work-from-home exercise routines.
Originally published March 28, 2022 - 10:31 AM, updated June 17, 2022