Working from home yet finding it difficult to get off from the chair, and stretch yourself a little? Although working from home is the ideal, well-suited option for many of you in the current circumstances, unfortunately, it comes with its consequences. It might have led many of you to adopt a sedentary lifestyle, that can cost your health big time. Let’s find out the ways to fix sedentary lifestyle.
Working from home has become a regular feature of our routine life. Where under the current pandemic situation, most of the employers are suggesting their employees to work remotely from their homes, it appears to be a convenient option for most of us as well as it has made your lives easier by saving your time and resources.
You can take care of your home and children simultaneously, without sacrificing your work.
Table of Contents
What is a sedentary lifestyle
What do you mean by a sedentary lifestyle? A sedentary lifestyle is a type of a lifestyle where you do not get yourself involved in any or little physical activity.
If you are spending most of your time sitting at place, be it working on a computer, watching TV or playing games online, then you are living a sedentary lifestyle.
Being physically inactive for most of the time in a day, can potentially contribute to various health related problems and lifestyle diseases like diabetes, weight gain, muscle stiffness and eye strain and dryness.
Check out the video on how to fix a sedentary lifestyle
What adverse impacts can a sedentary lifestyle have on your body?
People living a sedentary lifestyle, is a global problem, especially in developed countries, due to which decline in health, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity have been observed prominently.
Effects of a sedentary lifestyle
Working for hours, sitting continuously on the chair with not much movement has been linked to one of the major causes of health condition and obesity-related problems. Here are some of the adverse effects of sedentary lifestyle, that can have on your health.
1. Poor Posture
Whether working from home or office, if you sit and work for long hours in the same place, then it is likely that you develop poor posture over time. If you suffer from neck, shoulder, or back pain, these are often the first physical signs that probably you are not maintaining the correct posture while working.
If your way of working is going to be constantly like this, then you must make necessary changes to your workspace, making it conducive and ergonomically equipped, so that you maintain good posture throughout the day.
2. Muscle Stiffness
A sedentary lifestyle can cause you muscle stiffness. When you are working all day at your desk, without much movement, your muscles tend to stiffen, making it difficult and painful to change to a new position. Make sure you don’t sit in one particular position for a prolonged time and change positions frequently.
Related: Best Free Workout Apps
3. Swelling and Circulation
Did you ever notice swelling in your legs after working for a long time? Sitting in a bent position for long-duration can put pressure on your veins and arteries obstructing the proper blood flow to and from the heart.
Get up and walk around for a few mins at different intervals, to help your blood circulation system work efficiently.
4. Eye Strain and Dryness
Staring at your computer screen continuously can reduce blinking and will cause dryness in your eyes. Develop a habit of blinking your eyes frequently, as it helps in keeping your eyes lubricated. Adjust the position of your monitor as well as the position of your chair in such a way, that it is comfortable for you to work for a longer time without straining your eyes and back.
Be proactive by setting up a comfortable workspace and taking frequent breaks to avoid problems later.
5. Weight Gain
Prolonged sitting at your desk for several hours can make you put on weight as you tend to burn fewer calories. A sedentary lifestyle will increase the amount of energy your body stores as fat, and thus you are more likely to put on weight. The more you move, the more you burn calories, and the more you keep yourself physically fit.
Insufficient physical activity is also linked to type 2 diabetes and poor blood glucose management in adults. When you are working most of the day being sedentary, your body will start building up sugar, and your body will increase its insulin resistance. Over time, insulin resistance will make your body incapable of breaking down the sugar in the blood, which will lead to diabetes.
7. Cardiovascular diseases
Studies have shown that, living a sedentary lifestyle, may lead to heart related conditions like , coronary artery disease, and heart attack.
On the contrary, if you are physically active and exercise regularly, then you are less likely to develop heart problems.
8. Anxiety and Depression
Some research finding has shown a direct correlation between prolonged sitting, depression, and anxiety among working people and among which women were more likely to experience such symptoms than men.
When you keep sitting for a longer duration, blood flow to your brain can become restricted, due to which you may experience decreased brain function and experience depression and anxiety symptoms.
How does moving helps your body?
There is a need for you to move regularly, stretch, and walk, because there are several health-related benefits of not being sedentary. Some of them are:
- If you are more physically active, you are less likely to be overweight or obese.
- Movement increases the blood circulation which elevates your mood and self-esteem. Therefore, you are less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.
- It lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as a result, you are less likely to develop coronary heart disease.
- It increases in skeletal muscle mass and reduces the chance of serious musculoskeletal disorders.
- If you exercise regularly, an increase in blood circulation will make you feel energetic and increase your productivity levels.
- Being physically active will help you live a healthier and longer life.
Research study on Sedentary Behaviour, Exercise and Cardiovascular Health that there is a relationship between – Daily physical activity duration and all-cause mortality reduction.
How to combat the Sedentary lifestyle?
When you are working from home, you have the opportunity to make some minor changes in your routine to combat the sedentary lifestyle.
Here are some ways in which you can stay active when working from home.
1. Be comfortable
One of the benefits of working from home is that you can pace around your workspace or home without disturbing anyone. Take advantage of your physical freedom and sit in a comfortable position or in whichever way you want to. You can even fold your legs and sit to avoid the swelling of your legs. Make yourself comfortable as you are at home and keep your body relaxed as much as possible.
2. Get yourself a comfortable chair and an adjustable table
Ensure you have an ergonomically designed office chair and an adjustable desk at your home. Make sure the height of the table and the chair are appropriate for you so that you maintain the correct posture while working. This way you are less likely to put a strain on your back.
Set a reminder to get up from your chair at short intervals several times a day, to ensure proper blood circulation in your body.
3. Laptop users- keep this in mind
If you are using a laptop for your work, many of you must have experienced trouble in maintaining a correct posture. Either the screen is too low or the laptop is positioned in such a way that the keyboard is too high. In either case, ideal ergonomic positioning becomes difficult to achieve.
Try correcting the situation with the help of an additional keyboard. This will help you position the screen of your laptop and the keyboard according to your comfortable sitting position.
4. Walk while you talk
Sitting and working all day long on your computer may not seem detrimental to your health, but it can have serious repercussions over a span of time.
If you are into a profession where more phone calls are required to be made, then take a ‘walk while you talk’ approach to boost your physical activity. Whenever you have to take calls over the phone, stand up and start walking even if it is within your home or it only takes you to your balcony.
It will increase your blood flow, and as more oxygen reaches your brain, it will help you in keeping yourself focused and productive as well.
Besides, a change of pace and scenery will help you clear your head and be focused and concentrate on your conversation over the phone.
5. Set up a reminder to move every 2 hours
Keeping your energy levels up is the most important thing to keep you productive. Various health and fitness apps will help you stay active during the working hours and remind you to take breaks. Install one of those, to keep yourself away from a sedentary lifestyle.
Stick to the reminder, get up from your work every 2 hours, and take some walk. Help yourself with a steaming cup of coffee and some healthy snacks, preferably fruits.
Munching a handful of dry fruits would also be an excellent idea. Make sure you consume in small quantities, as though dry fruits are a high source of protein, fiber, and other nutrients, they are rich in fats too.
6. Establish An Exercise Routine
Sometimes, due to your professional commitments, your personal life takes a back seat. If you are working from home, you are more likely to neglect your lifestyle and take it for granted. Be disciplined and motivated in following your daily routine, which includes more importantly a regular exercise regime.
Start your day with light exercises, to keep yourself get going throughout the day. Performing yoga in the morning or evening hours can also be beneficial. Incorporate it into your daily routine and see how it increases your productivity with renewed energy. In addition to it, physical activity all also help you to keep a check on your weight.
7. Invest In Home-Exercise Equipment
If you are not able to step out or go to the gym, especially in the current situation like Corona Virus Pandemic, investing in some exercising equipment would be an awesome idea.
If you are good at multi-tasking, you can always take your work calls or catch up on email while treading on your treadmill. Download these free workout apps to stick to your fitness regime right from your home and keep the sedentary lifestyle at bay.
8. Take a water break every 30 minutes
Set up a timer to take a water break for every 30 minutes of work. Get up and walk, to grab a glass of water. It will not only keep you hydrated and boost your energy but will also ensure the physical movement your body needs.
9. Take metabolism boosting drinks
While working from home and staying indoors most of the time, one can easily put on un required body weight. Gaining weight is the most unwanted outcome of living a sedentary lifestyle.
But don’t worry, you have effortless options available which will not only help you manage your weight but also boost your body’s metabolism and improve digestion.
These metabolism-boosting drinks will help in monitoring your body weight and thus will help you win over the impacts of a sedentary lifestyle.
- Turmeric tea
- Ginger lemon tea
- Green tea
- Black tea
- Coconut water
- Plain water
- Citrus fruit juices
- Apple smoothie
- Cumin and Carom seeds tea
10. Engage yourself in Gardening
If you are a plant lover, then there is nothing better than involving yourself in gardening. Gardening is not only mentally and spiritually stimulating but also an enjoyable way for you to stay active.
If gardening is already one of your hobbies, then you must be well aware of how much effort it requires to maintain your lovely greens.
For those who are still seeking ways to beat their sedentary lifestyle, try gardening. It will not only keep you physically engaged, but it will also let you know how cheerful experience it can be to nurture your plants and watch them grow.
Check out the things you can do when you are bored at home.
Krishna is a Management graduate in Human Resource. She is an avid reader, knowledge seeker, and an adoring mother of two lovely kids.