Are remote developers more active now than they would be if they worked from an office? It's a question many would answer no to. After all, office workers commute to an office, hang out at the watercooler, and walk to meeting rooms, all of which can add up to more steps and standing time than you'd have if you never left your home office chair.
It's crucially important to stay active. Prolonged sitting and a lack of movement are terrible for your physical and mental health, and they will hurt your career earlier than you think. But regular physical activity improves your brain health, keeps you in shape, strengthens your muscles, boosts your immune system, and much more.
Remote work allows you to be much more active than you would be in the office, but you have to be deliberate about it. Here are 7 ways to incorporate more movement into your day-to-day as a remote worker.
7 Ways to Stay Active
Exercise Before Work
If you struggle to exercise, follow Brian Tracy's Eat That Frog principle and do it first thing in the morning. Go for a run outside, follow a YouTube workout on your yoga mat, or cycle on an exercise bike for a while. Then take a refreshing shower. There are few better ways to start your day than with a workout.
Remote work is freeing if you're deliberate about it. So schedule your walks, if only in your mind. After lunch or after your workday, go for a walk around the block to increase your step count. These walks are great to clear your mind and to break your day into distinct chunks. If you find such walks boring, listen to an audiobook or some music to spice them up.
Talk about getting two birds with one stone. Clean the bathroom, vacuum the carpet, wash the dishes, go grocery shopping, cook a meal, anything. All these chores are great ways to move your body while also ticking off those pesky tasks from your to-do list. So don't order groceries. Go fetch them. If it's less than thirty minutes away, walk.
Do Tiny Workouts
Whenever you feel your mind wandering, whenever your Pomodoro timer rings, or simply every time you take a break, do a little workout. Ten pushups. Twenty squats. Ten lunges (keep good form). Before you know it, every weekday you're doing fifty pushups, a hundred squats, and fifty lunges. Up the challenge by keeping a pair of weights near your desk. Stay consistent and you will build muscle.
Don't Just Sit
You don't have to sit to work. Standing is better for your back, strengthens your leg muscles, and improves your balance. So try standing half an hour for every hour you sit. If you can afford it, get a standing desk. Otherwise, stack your screen or laptop on a few boxes until they're just below eyesight while standing.
Get a Dog
Okay, so we're not advising you should just get a dog because you want to be more active. But if you've been thinking about getting a dog, or if you have one already, keeping them fit and healthy will keep you healthy too, whether that's because you take them to the park, play with them in a yard, or chase them around when they have the zoomies.
Try VR Fitness
This may not be the most obvious suggestion, but virtual reality is a great way to add movement to your day and have fun at the same time. If you have a VR headset or are considering buying one, then games like Creed, Beat Saber, and Superhot VR will keep you in shape. Two years ago, we interviewed an X-Teamer who burned 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day because of VR. Talk about staying active.