Over the last few months our bodies have been experiencing an incredible shift. They are carrying us through major changes in our routine, absorbing the shock of additional stressors, and if you’ve been adjusting to work from home life your body is likely in a different position than usual. The ‘make-do’ home office arrangements that initially seemed like they would last a couple weeks are now where many of us are spending a significant amount of time. Even as we level the curve and enter into the next phase, many workplaces are opting to have as many staffers continuing to work from home to limit the risk of the spread of Covid-19. As we’re settling into work from home life what should we be doing for our bodies and minds. Here are some tips for your work from home life.
Your home office setup is important. Make the most of your space. In Vancouver it is often a small space but that doesn’t mean you can forget about the importance of ergonomics. Are your desk and seat height optimal? Do you need an alternative to a chair? Would a standing desk suit your body better? We don’t all have extra money in the budget to go out a buy new, or even used, so take stock of what you have and get creative.
Work from home and movement tip
It might be tempting to lock yourself in a room away from the action (or chaos) of your family or housemates. While you may get more done by keeping the door closed and staying isolated during work hours, this lack of movement will affect your body. Think about your day at work, you get up from your desk to check in with a colleague, go to meetings in different rooms. Now those check-ins and meetings are happening online with video chat. What was once an opportunity to move is now prolonging the time we spent sitting at our desks behind the computer.
So Move! Right now! While you’re reading this. Follow this quick and easy stretch:
Seated Spinal Rotation:
- While seated, cross your arms over your chest.
- Grab your shoulders.
- Rotate your upper body from the waist, turning gently from left to right as far as feels comfortable, looking over your shoulder as you do so.
- You should feel a tension on both side of your lower back as it stretches out.
If you can make a bit of time and a bit of space do a quick mid-work yoga to stretch and reset your mind. Check out this video for Yoga with Adriene (different Adriene, but she also has a dog – maybe this is why we like her yoga videos…)
This goes hand in hand with moving. You need these breaks in the day for both your body and your mind. Maybe you are more focused and efficient when you take more frequent but shorter breaks. Or long mid day breaks might suit your style better. Either way, take that time. Fuel your body and let your mind go somewhere else for a bit.
Give time to joy
Now that your commute is significantly shorter use the extra time you have. Use the time you would have been spending getting to and from work on something that brings you great joy. Play outside, read a good book, have an after “work” dance party in the kitchen. Whatever that joy is for you reconnect with it and give your ‘commute’ time to it.
Don’t forget we are here to help support you. If you have been feeling the physical strain of working from home an adjustment can help reset, and specific exercises and stretches can help you maintain good body health.