In today’s world, working from home has become the norm. And knowing how mentally demanding working on the internet can be, it most times requires you to sit in one place for half the day, or the whole day, just to get work done. And this results in a lack of necessary body movement, which also affects our health.
Doing easy activities like standing up and stretching your body, attending to home chores, taking a stroll in your compound or neighbourhood, can add a substantial difference to your overall wellbeing and also increase your life span.
It doesn’t matter if you are a passionate exerciser or you are always confined in a couch, just moving more and sitting down less can improve your health incredibly according to research done in the past.
Even if you work out on regular bases, sitting for a minimum of 13 hours every day and only taking few steps, say 4000 a day, can dull the benefit of the workout you have done. This then increases the trouble of insulin resistance, poor blood sugar control, and a high level of fatty acids known as triglycerides. All these boosts the chance of type two diabetes and heart disease as said by the research published in April 2019 in the journal of applied physiology.
Insignificant or minor moves like strumming a guitar, folding clothes, brushing your teeth, can aid in countering the side effects of sitting for long hours. NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) is the scientific term for the way your everyday activity stimulates your physiology.
It takes calories to move even the smallest muscle’’
– Polly de Mille, RN director of the Tisch sports performance centre at a hospital in New York City.
Take, for example, you burn about 1.5 calories every minute by lying down alone while your body still performs its basic functions. If you move from lying position to sitting in a chair and typing, you burn about 25 calories, think about it, what if you do more?
Note that the more NEAT activities you carry out each day, the more calories you burn. This helps to maintain your weight, help in weight loss and improves your health.
Below are 8 NEAT ways to make ‘move more’ concept work for you even as you work from home. They are easy to carry out and do require special timing.
1. Use your phone during work activity.
If what you do is a desk job or you always collapse on your couch when you are at home, learn to get up more often. It is very helpful and keeps your life longer. People who stand more than 3 hours daily live 3 years longer than other people who tend to lay down or sit always according to analysis in an online journal. An easy hack to reduce your sitting time is to set an alarm on your phone to help you stretch even if it is just for a few minutes every hour. You can make a phone call and pace about, this helps you move your weight from one foot to another.
You can have your tablet or phone in hand, attending to some none mentally tedious work online, while you move about.
2. Take steps without counting
In order to know how many steps you take so that you can know when to do more, de Mille suggests that there is no need to use a fitness tracker to track your steps.
‘’There’s nothing like having a running tally of your steps per day staring at you to make you want to move more, de Mille says.
It is easier to add steps by doing some daily activity like parking at the end of the parking lot and walk all the way to the door or taking a bus and stopping one bus stop away. More steps add to burning calories over time.
If you work at home, having a small garden to tend daily helps improve your number of steps and activities.
3. Use the stairs
For a NEAT activity that really works for you, ensure to use the steps when it is possible. You can use the elevator while going out and take the stairs when coming in or vice versa. Ensure to do this regularly to improve your health.
4. Dance while doing a chore
Cleaning is inevitable, no matter how much you hate to clean. It is important and compulsory to clean your home. Cleaning as a NEAT activity increases the calorie burn by turning on some music while you work, take steps, move your body, dance while you iron, vacuum, clean, and tidy up your apartment.
Also Read: Why Self Care Matters in Business
5. Carry your shopping bags
When next you go shopping for kinds of stuff in a supermarket or a store, if you live close to the place where you purchase your items, take walks and carry your items home, if you use a car, offload your items by yourself into your house. This activity serves as a home exercise by adding a few bicep curls whenever you lift a bag.
6. Play with your feet
Tapping your toe and raising your heels while sitting, is a NEAT exercise that works perfectly for the muscles in the leg and helps prevent arterial diseases, according to research in the American Journal of physiology published in 2016. Placing a book on your knees and raising your heels altogether will improve the loss of more calories.
7. Utilize your time in a queue
Be it a store, movies, or bank, waiting on a line is a NEAT opportunity. Standing for a short while is very important to the body.
“Stand on one leg or step side to side when waiting for an elevator, a bus, or a train,”
de Mille suggests.
8. Sitting on a ball
Sitting down does not require any muscular activity, but when sitting on a stability ball also known as fitness or balance ball, it forces you to subtly contract different kinds of muscles to maintain balance. If you can’t sit on it at your office, practice sitting on it while at home working or watching TV, eating, reading, or playing video games.
Are there other ways you exercise at home, please share with us in the comments.