According to a 2018 article from the Mayo Clinic, sitting for eight hours a day or longer has health effects that are similar to obesity or smoking, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. That sounds scary when more people are spending time sitting behind a computer screen to make a living, but there’s also some good news to be found.
The same article, which looked at 13 different studies, also points out that doing just one hour per day of moderately intense activity basically counteracts the majority of problems that come from sitting too much. So how can you do that when you write (and sit) for a living? Here are some great tips to get you moving and help you keep an eye on your health.
1. Keep a Set Schedule, and Dress the Part
By having an actual work schedule, and by not sitting on the couch in your pajamas with the computer on your lap all day, you set the tone for how things are going to be done. You work from 9 to 5, or 10 to 6, or 4 to 11, or any number of hours and time frame that works for you. Just get up and dress up. Treat it like a regular job, with a lunch, breaks, and location. You’ll feel better, which means you’ll be less reluctant to get your body moving.
2. Get (or Make) a Standing Desk
Standing desks are awesome for productivity and activity. You don’t have to use one all day to get the benefits of being active, either, since even an hour or two can make a difference. You can buy one, or you can make one on your own. Either way works.
3. Schedule a Break at Least Every Two Hours
Every two hours (or more often if you need to), even if you’re really busy, get up and stretch and move around. Make sure you move for at least 10 minutes. You can walk, jog, dance, or whatever you like. Just move your body for 10 minutes or more before you sit down and get back to writing again.
4. Eat Lunch Out, or Away From Your Desk or Couch
You don’t have to go to a restaurant and spend big bucks for lunch, but getting out of the house is a good idea. Maybe you can walk down to a nearby park and eat the sandwich you made at home. Or maybe you want to work out for 45 minutes and then have a protein shake before getting back to your next article. You need the break, both mentally and physically, so make sure you take that time.
5. Make a Daily Walk Part of Your Routine
Walking is much more valuable than a lot of people think. If you’re trying to lose weight, walking won’t help you burn too many calories, but if you need to stay active, walking is amazing. Even 30 minutes can help, and you can do it before work, after work, at lunch, or whatever time is best for you. Just make sure you do it. Every day. You can walk indoors if the weather’s bad, so don’t let that stop you from getting enough physical activity.
6. Make Sure You’re Watching Your Diet
If you eat better, you’ll be more likely to stay active. The two often go hand in hand, and you’ll need to get up and move around to make lunch, dinner, and other meals or snacks. It’s another way to walk some more, get a break from your writing, and make sure you’re moving your body throughout the day.
7. Keep Fitness Equipment Within Easy Reach
If you like to take frequent, short breaks, keep those dumbbells or that kettebell right by your desk. Then you can get up, use your fitness equipment, and get right back to work. Little breaks can add up to a lot of activity and fitness over time, so don’t underestimate what they can offer toward creating healthy habits.
Need to get more tips on how to stay active, or want to learn more about getting things done when you work from home? There are plenty of resources you can explore that will help you stay healthy and happy while also getting your work accomplished. You’ll feel better about yourself, tone your body, and keep your clients happy, all at the same time. That’s a winning combination for everyone!
Michelle B. has worked as a professional freelance writer since the 1990s. During that time she has ghostwritten everything from product descriptions to full-length books. Her areas of specialization include real estate, legal topics, relationships, family life, and mental health issues, but she is also comfortable writing in a wide variety of other areas. She holds an associate’s degree in business management and a bachelor’s degree in legal administration.