In the workplace we have routine, we are on the go all day, people to talk to, places to be, steps to take. Even surrounded by family, pets, noisy neighbours, music etc working from home may feel like a more relaxed environment but if we are not careful, it can quickly have a negative impact on our health. That comfortable armchair and the biscuit tin are enticing, but herein lies the path to poor wellbeing. Chris Pinner, Founder of Innerfit, shares tips for maintaining healthy nutrition and mobility.
Effects of reduced mobilityOccasional use of the stairs is no replacement for a day’s normal movement. From that comfortable armchair it’s too easy to plough through hours of work, barely moving, but there are consequences. Stiffness, aches, lack of energy and poor circulation in the short term, but the long term effects are potentially more damaging. Poor diet and lack of mobility lead to musculo-skeletal issues, weight gain, digestive problems. cardiovascular damage and metabolic changes.
How to keep moving when WFH
Step 1: Pay attention to your work station. The ergonomics must sustainably support good posture without adding unnecessary strain to any part of your body. A reminder of the basics:
Step 2: Establish a routine that includes movement. From experience, thinking you will do it isn’t enough, you need to commit to a plan that is written down and scheduled. It doesn’t have to be starting each day with a six mile run, it can be an online workout, Pilates, yoga, aerobics or just a regular stretch and mobilise session. Thinking time is a valuable part of your work, walk around regularly, as well as keeping you mobile, the increased blood flow and respiration delivers valuable oxygen to your brain.
Effects of poor nutritionWe all do it sometimes, no time to stop so lunch becomes something synthetic and packed with empty calories. The danger when working from home is that if we’ve not done a meal plan or had a chance to do a weekly shop, lunch can be a piece of toast or half a packet of biscuits. You are what you eat, nourish your body to function well so you can perform well and enjoy the ritual of making and eating a proper lunch.
How to have good nutrition when WFHHealthy does not equal boring. Healthy nutrition supports your immune system, cognitive function, mental and emotional wellbeing and it provides energy. This has never been more important than right now, we have a responsibility to ourselves and others to maintain health. Plan the week’s healthy, quick to prepare meals and endeavour to stick to your plan. Innerfit partner Nutrition specialist Clemmie McPherson has some great guidance here.
Step 1: Plan to eat healthy, balanced meals
Step 2: Step away from your desk!
Step 3: Enjoy preparing a healthy, balanced plate of food, have a look at NHS guidance
Step 4: Take time away from your workstation to refresh and refuel
Nobody knows how long the current situation will last, If you are new to working from home, determine to prioritise your health from the outset. What action could you commit to right now? At least one healthy, balanced meal each day? Three forms of exercise per week? Addressing workplace ergonomics? Any or all of these support your health, Innerfit have produced an editable planner, free for anyone to use.
Chris Pinner is the founder of Innerfit, a workplace wellbeing provider. Innerfit provides video guides for inspiration and advice to support your wellbeing.
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