It has been a while since working from home became a default, and therefore, a new work routine would have been established by now. Everyone’s home environment is unique and would not have been set up for long periods of work activities. For example, the dining table, bench or stool and warm cosy lighting have quickly become the new office set up.
While you may recognise that these setups are not ideal, you can get by as makeshift solutions for perhaps a month or two. However, with positive COVID-19 cases in the community are still on daily double digits, Singapore may just be in the current Phase 2 for a bit longer. Unfortunately, if you are missing that Herman Miller ergonomics at home, both physical and mental fatigue would set in by now.
On a positive note, work-from-home also means that you reduce the downtime to get ready and commute from home to your workplace.
Let us look at some opportunities to squeeze in workouts while you work from home.
In the morning before work starts
According to science, working out in the morning is the best way to burn stored fats, especially on an empty stomach. Notwithstanding that fact, exercising in the morning also allows you to focus on the workouts better, before distractions in the form of text messages, calls and emails set it.
By working from home, you could possibly slide in an additional 15 to 30 minutes of morning exercises. If you had time previously only to do quick runs, you can use this additional period to increase your run duration or intensity. Or you can choose to go easy by doing stretching exercises or yoga.
On and In between phone calls and meetings
In the traditional Japanese kintsugi wellness way, the body needs to be active throughout the day rather than allocating time to sit down for work for hours on end, and then have the fitness time once a day. They believe this is one of the elements towards longevity.
In Singapore’s urban work context, Zoom calls are typically allocated in 30 or 60 minute blocks. Unlike having an in-person meeting in the office, you may actually have more flexibility to squeeze in some form of light exercises while being on phone calls at home. Especially if your camera is being switched off, do some easy squats or arm rotations while you are on calls; these are luxuries that you cannot do in face-to-face meetings.
Likewise, in between phone calls, you can quickly switch to a workout apparel and squeeze in some simple bodyweight exercises - push ups, sit ups, burpees. Being at home, you can easily wipe yourself dry, and if you have no time for a proper shower, the meeting attendees on the screens would not be able to have a whiff of you either!
If you were to be in the office, lunch time is not just a time to eat. It is also a time to socialise with other colleagues. Typically, then, lunchtime may follow a certain “process” and you occupy the whole duration for eating and socialising.
At home, you may use this period of time to squeeze in a Zoom or Facebook video workout perhaps. Marginal downtime to get ready, work out and cool yourself down before you get to the next sets of afternoon meetings.
If you are not a morning person, then no amount of persuasion may get you to get sweaty before you start the workday. Then, if you are living with kids or elderly family members, take them out too to enjoy exercises or activities with you; it is convenient when you work from home.
As of now, there is no indication of how long more Singapore will be in Phase 2 of the exit circuit breaker measure. No vaccine has been found. International borders remain closed. In fact, some countries including Australia, Hong Kong and Japan are seeing resurgence in numbers. So, it does look like we will all work from home a while longer. And thus, it is important for us to allocate time to keep physically and mentally healthy.