If someone would have visioned 2020, a pandemic was certainly not on the list. Not on a personal front and definitely not on the professional front either. Everyone had goals that they wanted to achieve until they were put in lockdowns and it all came down to achieving only one thing – their own productivity as they work from home. But as we work from home, lets not give up on the uber aspirational goal that we all have of being healthy. Many of us working from densely packed cities don’t have the luxury of being able to step out to get exercise and therefore have to embrace doing desk exercises to stay healthy while staying indoors.
While businesses are doing their best to equip their teams with the best tools and technologies for seamless team collaboration and work, the one thing that most are struggling with is nudging their team members to take care of their health as well!
While work from home is quite convenient and even reduces certain costs, it comes with certain dilemmas as well. Admit it, you were way more disciplined when you were going to the office for work.
Let’s take an example. Office culture ensures a set routine, which is a little difficult to establish when you’re working from home.
Our 8 am to 5 pm jobs have suddenly turned into 8 am to midnight roles, and 24 hours just don’t seem enough!
Additionally, the lack of proper workspaces in most of the homes poses a threat to postures as well. Think about the number of times you really get from the bed to stretch your shoulders and back out a little.
Whether we like to admit it or not, our work from home habits have an impact on our productivity levels – not just in terms of how much work we can get done, but also our mind space. We’re somehow never at peace!
Now before you turn to us asking ‘where is the time for exercise’, let us answer that for you. It really does not take much to stay fit and healthy as you work from home.
To help you (and ourselves) out in this mission to make work from home productive and healthy, we found some simple and effective exercises that can be done quickly, while you are at your desk.
Push-ups – Desk and Wall
This is an alternate version of push-ups. Ensure that your desk is sturdy enough to take your weight. You don’t want yourself injured in your zeal to become fit!
Place your hands flat, in a little wider format than the length of your shoulder. Start the pushups the normal way. Do a minimum of 20. You can do the same thing by using a wall as the base. Just ensure that you keep your core engaged.
The best part about these is that you do not need to take time out for this.
Chair squats can be done in between work or meetings and calls. Just stand up from the chair, lower your body back into the chair but don’t sit entirely. Get up again. Let your heels carry your weight. Repeat the squats 10 times.
Skipping or Pretend Skip
Do you have a skipping rope? Then take some time out and skip as you used to when you were a kid. It’s still one of the most effective exercises!
If not, then you can pretend to skip, it will have the same effect even without the prop. Just jump with the same intensity as you would while holding the rope.
This is best if you have a swivel chair. You can use the movement of the chair to work on your core muscles as you work from home.
All you have to do is sit straight in the chair, take your feet a little up so they are not touching the floor, hold your desk so you don’t fall or slip, and then do the oblique flip by swiveling the chair from side to side. Repeat it 15 times at least.
This is perhaps the most basic and recommended exercise for anyone who spends more than an hour on the laptop.
Often while working we are so engrossed that we forget our stiff necks. There is a simple fix for that. After every 1.5-2 hours, roll your neck clockwise and anticlockwise 10 times. This will loosen the muscles and make them more flexible, lessening the chances of cervical issues when you finally step out of lockdown!
Another basic exercise that would ensure your upper body muscles stay in prime shape as you work from home, is a shoulder stretch.
All you have to do is grasp your one hand with another, raise it straight above your head with your palms towards the ceiling. Take around 2-3 deep breaths while you do that to instantly feel your muscles more relaxed.
Upper Back Stretch
Your back is the most strained when you spend hours in front of the laptop. This particular exercise has been on our daily to-do for the longest time and is easy to do as well.
Hold both of your arms in front of you, in a straight line, facing down. Lower your head in a way that it is line with the hind-arms, as you look down, making the upper back of your back slightly curved. Take around 2-3 deep breaths to relax your muscles.
It doesn’t literally mean shadow boxing. Rather, it is faux boxing. It means that you imagine a punching bag and then act accordingly. However, make sure you are at a safe distance from your system. You wouldn’t want to break it.
This is a great form of cardio to keep your heart healthy and burn some calories in less than 15 minutes. It’s also a great stress buster!
If you are someone who uses the computer a lot while working from home – especially typing, this is the best exercise for your wrists.
Just lift and stretch your palms as you press those to each other. Another way to relieve wrist tension is to do circular movements, both clockwise and anticlockwise, just the way you do it for the neck.
There are a few simple exercises for the fingers as well, especially useful for those who have writing or coding jobs. Let us list down a few for you:
- Pinch your fingers and thumb, put an elastic band around and then flex the fingers and thumb with the elasticity of the band, at least 10 times. Repeat thrice a day.
- You can use a squeezer to release finger and palm stress.
- You can grasp a cloth or towel and do the grasping movements a couple of times.
- In case any of your fingers are in pain specifically, use it with the thumb to form an ‘O’ and hold that position for 5 seconds at least. Repeat it 10 times twice a day.
Work from home can be a boon as well as a bane. While you focus on getting more done in a day, your focus does shift from your own health.
Bringing in a few simple stretches and exercises can go a long way when it comes to staying in the race longer.
So join us as we too bring these exercises into our routines, starting today! At AttendanceBot, we help teams track PTO and do timesheets seamlessly inside Slack, MS Teams, and Google Hangout Chat. As we speak, we are helping thousands of customers around the globe work better with their teams remotely.