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A man working out at home using a yoga ball. A man working out at home using a yoga ball

How to stay active while working from home

If you’re one of the many people who are working from home now, you may be finding it difficult to get enough movement into your day.

You also may have heard that sitting is the new smoking. Unfortunately, with so many of us staying at home these days, we may be doing more sitting than ever. And when you sit all day, the lack of activity could lead to back and joint pain, and more serious problems like high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.

While doing a home workout after your workday can be an important part of staying healthy, it doesn’t solve the whole problem.

“Our bodies are designed to move, so even regular exercise isn’t going to counteract the damaging effects of sitting at your desk all day,” says Dr. Caroline King-Widdall, a Kaiser Permanente family medicine physician in Salem, Oregon.

To reduce the effects of a sedentary work routine, Dr. King-Widdall recommends taking simple steps to include more activity throughout the day.

Here are some tips that can help:

  • If possible, work at a standing desk. If you don’t have one available to use at home, try standing more throughout the day — for example, when you’re eating lunch, talking on the phone, or teleconferencing.
  • Even if you can’t go far, it’s a good idea to get up and walk around a bit every hour. Consider setting an alarm to remind yourself to move regularly during the workday. Just taking the time to walk through each room of your home can help.
  • At night, instead of sinking into the couch to watch television, use an exercise ball to get some extra movement in for the day.
  • Give yourself credit for the steps you take during the day. If you set realistic goals, wearing an activity tracker to measure your progress might make sense. If you start standing and moving around your home more, you’ll see your activity level rise.

Incorporate these habits into your daily routine to get your body moving throughout the day. They can be a great way to stay active and help maintain good health while working from home.

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