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Health Chatter: How to move more when working from home

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

Being active is important for your physical and mental health. Make it a priority when working from home.

Keep a movement diary

Log the minutes you spend moving every day and aim for the recommended UK guidelines. That’s at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, or a combination of the two, with 2 sessions of strength or balance building activities.

Build a walk into your routine Perhaps instead of your morning commute you can go for a walk round the block to help you start the day feeling refreshed, or maybe a lunchtime walk suits you better. Making part of your daily routine will help you stick to it. Set a timer to remind you to move regularly Choose a schedule that works for you, 2 minutes every half an hour, 5 minutes every hour? Try and get up and move at least once an hour.

Young woman walking through park
Making a walk a part of your daily routine will help you stick to it

Have a list of exercises to hand This saves you getting up and not knowing what to do. There are some ideas at the bottom of this sheet you can use, or make your own list. Example hourly exercises:

  • Squats

  • Knee raises

  • Shoulder rolls

  • Hip circles

  • Lunges

  • Side lunges

  • Side twists

  • Side stretch

  • Wrist circles

Stand up when you’re on the phone If you’re taking calls throughout the day and don’t need to type, you can stand up or walk around whilst talking.

Stand during video meetings Put your laptop on a higher surface so you can stand during your online meetings. You might even be able to raise you screen if you have a desktop computer by putting it on something solid like screen risers or large books. Just make sure it’s safe and stable!

Drink a lot to increase toilet trips Having a selection of drinks available on your desk can help you to drink more, and then your bladder can act as an extra reminder to get up and move.

Challenge your team Help you and your team stay motivated by setting a weekly team challenge. It could be competitive, e.g. see who can hold a plank the longest, or collaborative, e.g. set a team step count goal for the week.

Schedule in an online exercise class One of the good things about working from home is the time you save not having to commute. Try using that time to fit in an exercise class each day – there are lots of free classes online including pre-recorded videos and live classes run by gyms.

Don’t forget the weekends You don’t have to fit it all in during your usual working week. Try doing something active at the weekend, like gardening, dancing, or going for a long walk.

Example week of movement:

  • Monday - 10 minute brisk walk (moderate intensity) and 30 minute online HIIT class (vigorous intensity)

  • Tuesday - 10 minute brisk walk (moderate intensity)

  • Wednesday - 10 minute brisk walk (moderate intensity) and 60 minute online yoga class (strength / balance)

  • Thursday - 10 minute brisk walk (moderate intensity) and 30 minute online boxercise class (vigorous intensity)

  • Friday - 10 minute brisk walk (moderate intensity)

  • Saturday - 20 minutes dancing in your living room (balance)

  • Sunday - 30 minutes gardening / brisk walk (moderate intensity)

Total: 80 mins moderate intensity activity 60 mins vigorous intensity activity 80 mins strength / balance activities


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Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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