Updated: Feb 11, 2021
Are you struggling to juggle work and wellbeing? Lacking energy as the day goes on or starting to feel aches and pains due to stress or poor posture? Find out below our top recommendations to achieve the ultimate wellbeing goals whilst remaining fully focused and committed to working from home.
"There was a 39% increase of people with anxiety from the first lockdown to Q4 in 2019 and a reported 37.8% increase of psychological stress"
Office for National Statistics - June 2020
UK Government - June 2020
Not only are these results frightening by there own accord, it's important to recognise that these reports came out in June 2020 after the first lockdown, we have now had 2 more lockdowns since these reports came out. It is important to recognise too that during this time, many households have received less support, face the demand of balancing work, home schooling and are also living through the bleak wintery months with cold, wet weather and little amount of daylight. It all seems like a distant memory to the much more relaxed, national holiday during the first lockdown with lovely warm weather and relaxed working conditions.
63% of adults in England are above a healthy weight, with 36% and 28% of adults living with overweight or obesity respectively. Two-thirds of men are living with overweight or obesity (67%) and 6 out of 10 women are living with overweight or obesity (60%).
Public Health England - July 2020
I know it might seem strange using both of these quotes at the start of a blog post regarding working from home and exercise but I believe it is important to understand the importance and value as to why you should be still taking care of your health and wellbeing during these crazy times. There is now more people who are less active, more stressed and also working in conditions that are bad for their posture.
It is also important to recognise the following too;
Studies are yet to be announced from the following 9 months to date from the previous recordings
It could take years before we fully understand the full effects to both physical and mental health: People are less active, more likely to use takeaway foods, people working in poor conditions/poor posture (i.e Bad Backs, Hips etc), anxiety and stress from society and work/home and financial demands
Increased weight increases your chances of dying from Covid-19 (BMI 35-40 by 40%) and other health related diseases (Cancers, Diabetes etc)
How Can I Balance Everything!?
In accordance to the NHS guidelines, I recommend for everyone to aim to be active every day if possible and with a variety of strength and aerobic training 3/4 times per week. This can of course be easier said than done, especially during the current times. I will always recommend advanced weekly planning to complete a vigorous training programme but if you are still struggling with time management or are looking to add extra into your current programme - here is my recommended cheat pack exercises to help balance your busy lifestyle with your physical requirements:
Depending what space and time you have available, you can add a variety of light exercises together in a short circuit for a few minutes either doing the exercises timed or a certain amount of repetitions to complete. A small circuit that could be completed every hour in between calls could be:
10 Press Ups
10 Star Jumps
It is important to step away from the desk/screen for atleast 15 minutes every few hours to help increase blood flow and aerobic levels, reduce strain on your eyes and help improve concentration.
Stretching is the perfect combination when it comes to a busy working day. There is always the chance to stretch whilst sitting down working, if it is a virtual meeting, there is the opportunity to casually stretch certain body parts (hamstrings, glutes) or if you're working alone without any calls or meetings you can spend extra time working some floor exercises (yoga/whole body stretching).
Some of the benefits of stretching include:
Improve range of movement
Decrease back pain
Can help prevent injuries
Decrease muscle soreness
Muscle groups to focus I would recommend stretching during the day would be:
Leave The Desk
If you have a long call scheduled, taking a walk during the phone call could be a really great way to ensure you keep on track with your workload and get your daily exercise in. Just going out for a light walk for 30 minutes a day has been proven to help improve fitness, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, weight loss and help lower stress, depression and anxiety.
That multi-million pound idea could be found whilst having a leisurely stroll through your favourite park.
Foot Rolling Exercises
A hidden gem within the list and one that maybe not too many people are either aware of or understand the amazing benefits. If you have never done this before, I recommend using a large piece of equipment (foam roller/tennis ball, water bottle) and just slowly work the ball underneath and around the base of the foot. Start gently and gradually apply more pressure on the foot. Work all areas of your foot for 60-90 seconds before changing feet.
Some of the benefits include;
Lowers blood pressure
Pain/tension relief on calves, hamstrings, glutes and lower back
Legs Up The Wall Pose
Legs Up the Wall Pose (or Viparita Karani) is a restorative yoga posture that allows the mind and the body to relax, relieving stress and tension. It is one of the most approachable yoga poses as it doesn’t require much flexibility or strength. But even though it’s a passive pose, its benefits are pretty amazing.
Facilitates venous drainage and increases circulation
Soothes swollen and cramped feet and legs
Stretches the hamstrings and lower back
Relieves lower back tension
Pelvic floor relaxation
In addition, studies have shown that restorative yoga poses (specifically, legs up the wall) can be beneficially for those suffering from the negative effects of;
Restless leg syndrome
Repeatedly squeezing a stress ball releases tension and in turn, helps to relieve stress. In addition to the mental benefits, stress balls also boost blood circulation and help with the treatment of carpal-tunnel syndrome and arthritis — and they’re used as a tool for meditation too.
If you're looking for a bit of variety, look no further than the stability ball! Sitting on a stability instead of a chair can help improve posture and can prevent and relieve back pain. It has also been found that by sitting on a stability helps engage the whole core.
If you do swap the chair for a stability ball, there is a few considerations to remember:
Only sit on the stability ball longer than 2 hours! If you sit on the ball for too long, your muscles will become fatigued and may leave your back feeling sore.
Ensure the ball is fully inflated. This will ensure your posture is correct rather than sinking into the ball
Use a ball that is the right size to you. There is different size balls for different heights, each ball will provide guidelines for your height to use.
Challenges are a great way to engage in an activity for a period of time, increase motivation and focus. We have a variety of challenges available to start up today that are completely free to use and enjoy focusing of physical, mental and nutrition. Most of our challenges also take no longer than 5 minutes to complete which could be the time spent usually looking on social media.
What do you think to the recommendations listed above? Do you believe they can help you be able to balance your lifestyle demands and physical requirements together better or do you have anything we haven't mentioned that works for you? Comment below and let us know what you think!