3 Tips to Stay Physically Active While Working From Home

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More than ever before, we must do everything we can to ensure that the mental well-being of PR professionals is strong.

During the COVID-19 crisis, a lot has been — and will be — out of our control for the foreseeable future. We are working from home, and keeping ourselves and our families safe while doing what we can to reduce distractions so we can continue to work uninterrupted. This process has been mentally taxing.

One thing that we can do, however, is stay physically active. After a long walk, run, bike ride or other exercise, I feel more confident to tackle what’s in front of me. 

But, how do you stay physically active while living through a pandemic, working from home, managing a family and creating a brand-new set of daily habits?

First, we need to remove the idea that physical activity and working must be separate. You can incorporate physical activity during the workday, act as business leaders and thrive. Since many of you are working from home, keep in mind that the daily chores you’re doing — from dishes, laundry and cleaning to mowing the lawn, keeping your children and pets active, and cooking — all take energy and are burning calories.

Here are three key tips to keep moving and stay active.

1. Stand up.

Standing up while working, particularly during video conference calls, is one of the most important things I do to stay physically and mentally sharp. I typically burn 50 percent more calories when I stand up versus when I sit down. 

And because standing utilizes my entire body, I can communicate more effectively through my movements and gestures. This allows for increased engagement during conference calls; and ultimately, I feel more positive and confident as a result!

Analyze your calendar over the next week, and identify three to five video meetings you can take standing up.

2. Host virtual walking meetings.

That said, spending an entire day on video calls can feel overwhelming and exhausting. With the increase in video conferencing usage in recent weeks, I’ve heard that many people are exhausted. I’ve noticed this myself.

Screen fatigue and video conferencing fatigue are real. It’s important to acknowledge and prepare for this and its impact long-term. We are not built to be in front of our screens for hours on end. 

Take at least one call per day via audio-only and turn that call into a virtual walk-and-talk meeting. 

3. Take the longer route.

I was heading into the grocery store parking lot recently when I realized something: I don’t have to spend five minutes finding the best parking spot. I can choose to find the first one available and then use the opportunity to exercise by walking farther to my destination.

I encourage all of you to do your version of this throughout the week. Park far away. Stop at the subway station that is a few blocks farther away from where you’re going. Take the stairs.

Implementing these small techniques can reap significant mental and physical health benefits that will positively impact our personal and professional lives.

photo credit: mark mohammadpour, apr
Return to Current Issue Leadership During a Time of Social Distancing | May 2020
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