The Learning Sanctuary

Staying healthy & active while working from home

By Karla Gilbert

Karla Gilbert is a former Ironwoman, a mum of two girls and a certified Level III and IV Fitness Trainer. She knows exactly how to keep your whole family active, even in difficult times! Enjoy her top tips below…

While we move indoors to manage the threat of coronavirus, working from home with limited time outdoors has brought a significant dose of new challenges. Dealing with work deadlines, juggling home-schooling and keeping your insanity in check can send the best of us into routine meltdown.

As we adjust to this new norm, working remotely takes some planning, self-awareness and a certain amount of flexibility to retain the lines between work and personal life. Getting your work done is important for businesses, but staying mentally and physically healthy is just as important for at-home workers

Here are some strategies to survive…

Be realistic

With young children in the house, it can be challenging as it requires us to be hands-on. Aim to be flexible with your work hours which may mean beginning the day a little earlier than usual, before the kids are up, to get a head start on things.

Set up a craft activity station next to your workspace so your child can actively (and hopefully quietly) amuse themselves while replying to emails, and save the screen time for periods in the day you prefer not to be interrupted, perhaps a conference call.

Pantry dilemmas

Have healthy snacks on hand such as fresh fruit, herbal teas, boiled eggs, yoghurts – and enjoy a snack with the children or take lunch out on a picnic rug in the garden to reconnect before diving into work again.

Schedule breaks

Take regularly 15-minute breaks to refresh your mind. Bounce on the trampoline, catch up with a loved one on the phone, or just simply step outside and take in the sunshine. Try to refrain from staying seated in front of a screen all day and don’t lose sight of still trying to reach your targeted steps in the day through incremental movements. An easy way to keep track of this is to set reminders on your phone or downloading an app such as the ‘Work Break Timer’.

Create a sustainable workspace

If you don’t have a dedicated workspace and need to remain mobile around the house to be close to your child, remember to think long term. Laptops may be versatile, but they are generally placed much lower and we tend to bend forward at the waist and curl over to look at the screen, which causes lots of back and neck issues. Over a period of time, this can lead to muscular strain which is not ideal.

If you use a laptop then it’s important to raise the screen up to eye level, even if that means using a pillow while aiming to keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees.

Don’t forget to move each day

Realistically we now may have more time up our sleeve each day as we are not commuting, taking the children to extracurricular activities or attending meetings. Prioritizing some physical activity whether it is an online yoga class, walking the dog, visiting the beach for a run or swim (1.5m distance) is important not just physically but for mental health to retain a perspective on what may be an overload of information during these times.

Click here to check out some of the best online work outs to do with the whole family.