Research conducted by online fitness resource Total Shape found the best ways to keep active while working from home.
Since Covid-19 swept across the globe, many industries have shifted to fully remote or hybrid working. During covid, 70% of the workforce was working from home (WFH), and since then, 61.9% of companies have planned to incorporate remote work, be it fully remote or hybrid.
With more and more people working from the comfort of their own homes, a Health Impact Assessment found that home working may be associated with more sedentary lifestyles and, in turn, increased risk of obesity. Most of our calories throughout the day are burned through non-exercise activity thermogenesis, such as walking and other essential activities. When working from home, sometimes our activities can be even more limited.
This guide from Total Shape includes some great ways to stay fit even when you are working from home.
Standing desks have gained popularity over the last few years and have provided many positive health benefits. Some of the benefits of standing desks are that standing burns more calories than sitting, even if you stand still. Research has also shown that 66% of workers felt more productive, and 87% felt more energized. Standing activates the muscles in your legs and core while stimulating circulation, which can help you to burn extra calories and build your strength. Standing desks come in a range of styles and cater to all different budgets meaning this is an accessible option for all.
Cost: $150 – $600
Calories per hour: 60 – 90
Desk Treadmill for Fitness
Although it is a more expensive option, this is one of the most effective ways to stay fit while working at home. It takes the standing desk a step further by adding the walking element. Studies have shown that walking between 1 and 2.5 mph can lead to an extra 170 – 240 calories burned per hour. Not only have people encountered the physical benefits of getting more exercise, but walking helps to oxygenate the brain by stimulating blood circulation.
So, we think better and more efficiently when we walk. With most people having busy schedules outside of work, it can make getting the recommended amount of physical exercise difficult, which makes this a great way to stay fit while working from home.
Cost: $200 – $800
Calories per hour: 170 – 240
Under Desk Bikes
A very similar concept to the desk treadmill, an under-desk bike features a small set of pedals that can slide under your desk so you can pedal while sitting. Altering small machines can have more resistance, making it harder or easier to pedal. As an aerobic fitness exercise is good for staying fit and can help strengthen your legs and joints. Studies estimated that peddling while seated can burn up to 10 calories per minute, depending on the intensity, which means you could burn up to 600 calories an hour. However, the average gentle peddling will likely burn 100-300 an hour.
Cost: $50 – $200
Calories per hour: 100 – 600 (depending on intensity)
Resistance Bands for Fitness
Resistance bands are an affordable option to help train your body and get fitter. You can perform plenty of passive resistance band workouts even when doing something at your desk. This means that in between typing and during brainstorming sessions, your body can keep active alongside your mind. Exercises could include bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions, and shoulder raises. However, many variations and other exercises are possible with resistance bands.
Resistance bands can help you build muscle and burn calories while seated at your desk. A study published in 2022 showed that resistance band training lowers body fat in people who are overweight better than other forms of training, including free weights and bodyweight exercises.
Cost: $15 – $40
Calories per hour: 180 – 252
7 Minute workout
Searching “seven-minute workout” on the app store will reveal a fantastic app that will guide you through various workouts you can do in your own home, which take just seven minutes at a time. The best thing about the seven-minute workout app is that its programs are designed especially for people who work at home and have no special equipment. While some in-app purchases are available, you can use the app completely free – so there’s nothing stopping you from getting started.
The 7-minute nature of these workouts allows people with busy schedules to fit in exercise and can help break up your working day, increasing productivity. Building muscle will also help you burn more NEAT calories, which will help you stay fit and healthy in the long term.
Calories per 7 minutes: 20 – 50
Exercise and an active lifestyle are essential in staying fit and healthy; however, diet is crucial to overall health and fitness. People with few distractions at home may find that they are more aware of hunger than at the workplace, which can lead to more snacking and possibly an unhealthier diet. By focusing on eating healthy foods and snacks, people working from home can ensure that they are staying fit and keeping their bodies healthy. Studies show that both the overall composition of the human diet and specific dietary components have been shown to impact brain function. This means that diet isn’t only going to keep you fit, but it’s going to improve cognitive function and, thus, the quality of work produced.
A spokesperson from Total Shape commented:
“Roughly 2 in 3 people in the US are overweight, and with many aspects of life becoming more sedentary, it’s important that people try to find new ways to keep fit and healthy. Life has become busy and more expensive, meaning it’s harder to find the time and money to attend gyms or activities that help us remain fit.”
This guide provides various choices for people on various budgets and specific preferences to ensure we are keeping ourselves healthy.”
The study was conducted by Total Shape, which is a fitness resource site providing information about workouts, supplements, and fitness to help reach your goals.