1 March 2023
Contributor - Accredited Exercise Physiologist
COVID-19 has recently led to many of us working from home, and this has been a tricky adjustment to our regular routines on both a physical and mental level. Exercise physiologist, Sam Rooney, shares his best tips to keep you productive and healthy while working from home - from setting up your home office, to forming good habits and maintaining good nutrition. Check out his essential guide below...
Your first step for successfully transitioning to working from home needs to be setting up a good working space. A good setup environment can reduce aches and pains, improve productivity and set you up for long-term success.
ENVIRONMENT: Try to separate your “office space” from your home space as much as possible. If you are fortunate enough to have a spare room or study then dedicate that room as your work zone. If you don’t have a spare room, make sure you keep your workspace clean and as out of the way as possible. No work should be completed in any other part of the house other than your work zone. This will help you mentally switch on in the morning and switch off at the end of the day.
DESK SETUP: Your home setup may not be perfect, but the closer you are the better the results will be. Focus on keyboard and screen height as a priority. Your screen should be one arm’s length away with your eyes level with the top ¼ of your screen. Your keyboard should be at a height where your hands and wrists are level with your elbows.
Your body likes routine. Having a routine and maintaining habits are some of the most important aspects of working from home. Circadian rhythms are your physical, mental and behavioural patterns that follow a daily cycle. They are linked to your internal body clock and are traceable on a physiological level. My top tips on maintaining your mentality, motivation and habits as you work from home are:
ESTABLISH A DAILY ROUTINE. Try to schedule in the following for the same time each day: morning alarm, bed time, meals, working hours, exercise and your own personal time.
ADJUST YOUR MINDSET. We can’t change what happens to us, but we can change how we respond. Take an open mindset to your current situation. Accept that you will experience some difficulty, but understand it will pass.
Working from home means moving less and sitting more, which has been linked with both physical and metabolic health disorders. Research has shown that a general movement program has been as effective in treating lower back pain as a Pilates program.
In addition to completing a daily workout, break up your sitting every 45-60 minutes to walk, move, stretch or even just switch off.
Try to complete full body movement and focus on opening up the shoulders, upper back and hips.
Nutrition is far more than just fuelling your body. A well-balanced, healthy diet can support your immune function, support good mental health and is a vital aspect of reaching your health and fitness goals, particularly as you adjust to a new working routine at home. The new My Muscle Chef Plus Range is a great and convenient way of adding extra vegetables and good quality protein to boost your nutrient intake, as well as to keep you accountable and help you feel fuller for longer.
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