Since Covid-19 hit, many of us have been working from home. And for lots of people, working from home will be the new normal. Kasia was feeling the impact that working from home was having on her moving less each day. Here, she shares the challenge that got her moving more and tips to fit activity in your working day.
During the challenge I walked 510,000 steps.
During winter, I found myself struggling to find the motivation go outside, where it was dark, cold and after hours spent in front of the computer after work.
Alongside some family members, I challenged myself to a step challenge during February.
We wanted to motivate each other (virtually) to be more active throughout the day.
By getting my family involved, I was held accountable for moving my body.
The challenges of staying active when working from home
Working at home creates the perfect conditions for a sedentary life.
Why would you want to go for a walk in the morning when you can have that extra five minutes in bed?
I pushed myself to go for a walk or run after work, but it wasn’t enough.
After the first week of our self-imposed challenge, I found myself in last place.
I was feeling the effects of a long day in the same position, so I made a big effort to make the challenge work for me.
Walking and running became integrated into my daily routine.
I pushed myself to go out in all weathers, and was rewarded with stunning views and the feel of the seasons changing.
The first step was to pay more attention to how much I move during the day
It was important to realise how little I was actually moving.
I started using my running watch as a step counter, but there are lots of apps out there that record your steps.
Each evening I would check my score against other family members, and it was a good motivation for me to move more the next day.
Go for a short walk before you sit down in front of your computer
A short run or a walk before I started working was great to boost my steps but also my energy levels in the morning.
Getting up earlier to accommodate a 30-minute walk or run is hard, but the benefits are enormous a the sunrise view is most rewarding.
It helped me to start the day with a feeling of accomplishment.
Add different length walks into your day when it suits you best
Moving more during the day might not be easy if you are supposed to spend eight hours working at your desk.
That is why I combined walking and working.
When it was possible I joined some work video calls on my phone when walking outside.
This was for less formal meetings or those I knew I could mainly listen to.
An hour meeting scored me an extra 5 km of walking.
If you can’t go outside, the alternative is to turn off your camera during meetings and walk around your room while listening.
Use any break during the day to go for a short walk. This can be a 15-minute walk during lunch, or between meetings.
The challenge is over, but I'm continuing to make an effort to move throughout my working day.
Usually, I tried to accommodate a long walk either after work or after dinner
By longer walk, I mean anything over an hour.
I listened to different podcasts, had a family member join me or went a long run.
It became a routine and the main decision to be made was which direction to go.
At the start of the challenge, I didn’t think I’d walk as much as I did.
I’m generally an active person, but this challenge required me to put in extra effort each day.
By the end of February, I had walked 510,000 steps, so on average, I walked 15-18km each day.
The more I moved the more benefits I could feel.
It helped me to be less anxious and clear my headspace during the working day.
It also gave me a short term goal in days when there wasn’t much to do.
This month, I’m not giving up on my daily activity. I joined the #ActiveCommuteClub and finally got back on my bike after the long winter.
Has Kasia's story inspired you to move more in your working day?
Kasia Duck is a Project Leader in the Street Design team at Sustrans. She’s adapting to working from home, like the rest of the Sustrans team.