News & Insights 13 December 2021

How to stay active when working from home

We have all heard the news that working from home is once again recommended, news that many of us will welcome. While working from home offers a number of benefits, it also makes it easier to slip into a sedentary lifestyle, and we may lose a lot of the activity in our daily routines that would usually come from commuting. 65% of adults in the UK reported some form of active travel in their normal day-to-day life, accumulating an average of 195 mins/week. Adults who use active travel have significantly higher total physical activity than those who do not, and we don’t want the news on work from home to cause this to decrease. When your commute is from your bedroom to your home office or living room, you will likely need to consciously plan extra movement and activity into your day. The good news is that every move you make matters.

During the social distancing period in 2020 and early 2021 the level of physical activity was significantly reduced. A study found that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, 69% of adults within the cohort were classified as very active, and during the social distancing period, this percentage dropped to 39%. Additionally, people who experience long bouts of uninterrupted sitting and who stay sedentary for much of their waking time (12.5 hours or more a day) have the highest risk of death from any cause.

This is why it is important to identify time during your day to build in activity that you would otherwise be getting from a commute. Taking a break and lunchtime and making a point to get up and cook and/or go on a short walk will make a big difference when it comes to increasing your activity and improving your health. Research has recommended that we should get up and move every 30 minutes to reduce the negative impacts to our health that come from being sedentary. This does not mean that you have to go on a run 16 times during your working day. Simply getting up, stretching your legs and getting the blood flowing is enough to break up long periods of sitting.

Every 30 minutes may sound a lot and may not always be possible, but doing something is always better than doing nothing. Making the effort to get up at all, regardless of how frequent, is better than staying still all day. Maybe you could aim for once an hour, and once that becomes a routine you can progress to once every half an hour. Perhaps you could set a reminder on your phone or computer that’ll push you to get out of your seat or off the couch every 30 minutes to grab a glass of water, take a walk outside or do a lap around the office. You could even just pace up and down when on the phone.

Not only will this benefit your physical health, but you will also feel better for it. Working from home can be isolating and it can feel difficult to motivate yourself. Consciously making the effort to move will stimulate your brain and release endorphins, which can improve your mood and also allow you to think clearer and reduce brain fog, resulting in higher work productivity.

At KiActiv® we believe that these unexpected changes to your daily routine, such as work from home, should not be barriers to physical activity. There are so many ways to be active even when you are stuck inside working, all it takes from you is a little conscious effort to break up those long periods of sitting down. Don’t let your activity levels drop following this announcement and take control of your health this Christmas!

The KiActiv® Team