Achieve Your Fitness Goals From the Comfort of Your Home Office

Workplace wellness has definitely taken a backseat to the chaos that was 2020. But it’s now 2021--time to shake off the cobwebs, prioritize our physical and mental health, and achieve our 2021 fitness goals!

Guest Contributor

January 25, 2021

6 min read

Even though Covid vaccines have started rolling out, for many of us the work from home life continues and the workout from home struggle is very real. Depending on where you live in the US, local gyms might still be on lockdown (or it’s way too cold to exercise outdoors). It’s been hard to find any spare time amid 8-hour workdays, at-home teaching, learning how to cook, constant sanitizing, and debugging Cyberpunk 2077.

Workplace wellness has definitely taken a backseat to the chaos that was 2020. But it’s now 2021--time to shake off the cobwebs, prioritize our physical and mental health, and achieve our 2021 fitness goals!

We’ve discussed how adjusting your screens, chair and desk can relieve muscle tension in a previous blog post on good office ergonomics. In similar fashion, this post is meant to highlight workspace hacks that will help you achieve your fitness goals from the comfort of your WFH office.  

Switch to Standing

In his 2009 book “Move a Little, Lose a Lot,” Dr. James Levine diagnosed America with a “sitting disease.” Since then, standing desks have been flying off the proverbial shelves. New York Magazine author Dan Kois even published an article on his 30-day standing challenge, where at one point he only sat for 25 minutes in a day (15 minutes in the car, and 10 in the bathroom). Kois explained that longer standing periods helped increase his metabolism and boost his energy. That being said, Kois was also quick to point out what a pain it is (physically and socially) to stand ALL the time.

I believe the lesson here is not to trade one extreme for another. Going from sitting all day to standing the next is uncomfortable and unnecessarily painful. Try transitioning over a longer period of time. The easiest solution: use an adjustable height desk to accommodate periods of both sitting and standing.

Clearly, you don’t need to purge your home of chairs in order to reap the benefits of less sitting. Even pro standing desk users agree that for tasks that require more brain power and concentration, it’s easier to focus while seated. And when you do stand, comfortable shoes and a cushioned floor mat are strongly recommended.

If you’re unable to stand for long periods of time (because of musculoskeletal issues or a past injury), try using a more ergonomic chair that supports your lower back and keeps you from slouching (which in turn activates your core). You might even invest in an under desk bike pedal to keep your legs moving while you work.

Workout at Your Desk

We’re all wearing yoga pants and sweats all day anyway, right? Taking quick workout breaks at your desk is a great way to up your heart rate and stay active without having to reorganize your entire schedule.

If you’re in need of inspiration, mere seconds of searching through YouTube will bring up a myriad of videos on at-desk stretching, 10 minute bodyweight routines, and office yoga.  

The point is to prevent yourself from sitting throughout your entire workday. Your workout breaks could consist of an intense Tabata routine, or a plank challenge, or even just a walk down the street. Maybe you turn up the volume on a favorite playlist and dance like nobody’s watching. Mix it up, challenge yourself, and keep moving.

Surround Yourself with Healthy Options

In an office, the company is responsible for stocking the kitchen or break area with healthy snacking options. At home, it’s all on you.

When creating the perfect WFH environment, we’ve suggested surrounding yourself with the objects and snacks that make your workday more enjoyable. The same principle applies here. Don’t splurge on Nature Valley bars if you don’t like eating them. Little substitutions can have just as much of an impact on your health. Try drinking black tea instead of coffee, eating nuts and fruit instead of chips and candy, and unsweetened dark chocolate when you’re craving something sweet. For more ideas, the American Heart Association compiled a list of healthy (but tasty) snacking options.

The key is to make your healthy snacks more easily accessible than the unhealthy alternatives. If possible, move your WFH setup away from the kitchen and stock the area with healthier snacks. For bonus points, keep a filled water bottle nearby.

Tell a Friend

Tell your friends and family about your fitness goals for extra accountability and motivation. Better yet, turn your WFH fitness goals into a team sport. You and your colleagues can encourage each other to stay active and take the time to care for personal wellness.

If you’re a bit too introverted for a company-wide program, try joining a virtual 30-day fitness challenge or downloading one of the many fitness tracker apps. This way you keep the anonymity but still receive community support and motivation.

Whatever your fitness goals for 2021, know that Baru is on your side. Because our New Year’s resolution is to raise workplace wellness, support our employees, and promote good mental and physical health practices. (While still providing quality furniture of course.)