This article was first published on The Conversation and authored by Julie Broderick.
Though people with office jobs often sit for up to 80% of the working day, many still manage to get an average of 3,616 steps daily, largely thanks to many small opportunities for activity throughout the day. But with many of us now working from home during the pandemic, this means that any exercise we might have had during our day – whether cycling to work, or walking to get lunch – may no longer exist. While the way we work has changed, that doesn’t mean we can’t easily find ways to be more active during our work day if we look at how we managed to get active while working in an office.
Here are a few things you can try to get you to move more while working from home:
1. Stand up and move while working
Prolonged standing burns more calories than sitting. While this won’t be enough to tackle weight loss, replacing two hours sitting each day with standing can burn up to 130 calories a week, and may improve concentration. Standing more often during your day may also improve glucose, insulin levels, and blood pressure in the long term.
You may be surprised to hear that [fidgeting is also good]. These small, regular movements (such as tapping your foot or shifting position) while sitting also burn more calories by increasing energy expenditure by 5–10% above resting values.
Experts recommend office workers try to get at least two hours a day standing or moving around during work hours – and should build up to four hours, if possible. To start out, try adding at least 30 to 60 minutes of standing into your workday, perhaps by alternating between fifteen minutes standing followed by fifteen minutes sitting. Or perhaps try taking all your calls or meetings while standing.