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Physical exercise at home

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During the Corona pandemic our everyday routines were drastically changed when we were forced to work from home. For a lot of us, traveling to and from our offices was a great way to get exercise without taking too much time from our day-to-day lives. The effect on our physical activity and general wellbeing could be clearly seen.

 

Inactivity

With inactivity we mean that you do not use or stress your muscles in a normal way. Sitting still for longer periods of time us a common form of inactivity, and by changing to a stand-up desk you can easily regain activity during your workday. Unfortunately, standing is only marginally better for you than sitting still, but by standing up the chance of taking one of two extra steps during the day increases greatly. Therefore, a stand-up desk is something we recommend. 

 

An inactive lifestyle increases the risk of premature death, a risk not seen within groups of regularly active persons.

 

Inactivity guidelines  

The World Health Organisation, WHO, have no specific guidelines when it comes to inactivity, but emphasize that you should substitute as much sitting still with movement as possible, whether it is everyday exercise or harder training.

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Everyday exercise vs. training

All movement is good for your, but the higher intensity the greater the health benefits. It is the degree of exertion, or heart rate I relation to your max pulse, that is decisive if what you are doing is everyday exercise or training.

Walking to the bus is for most people an example of everyday exercise as the intensity is low and your heart rate is around 40-59% of your individual max pulse. In order for an activity to counted as training both your heart rate end breathing should be noticeably increased. If your heart rate is around 60-74% of your max pulse the activity is classified as moderately intense, with 75-94% being classed as high intensity.

 

The international health recommendations state that you should aim for 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity training per week. This is equivalent to 75-150 minutes of high intensity training. It is also recommended to expose your muscles to tougher strength training a couple of times per week.

 

Physical health at home 

If your weekly routines have changed it may be key to set-up a plan at home to create a healthy and long-term lifestyle. Health is of course about more than just exercise, things like social contacts, ergonomic, your diet, recovery etc are all important and here are some tips during the workday;

Training at home tips:

  • Start and finish your day by "walking to the office". Take a walk or a bike ride before you start your day and one when it finishes. Besides the exercise, it will act as a clear trigger to your brain that your workday has started / finished. 

  • Set a time 1-2 times / hour and perform some short stretching routines. Do some squats, stretches or walk/run up and down the stairs a few times.

  • Vary standing and sitting still during your day. If you have the chance, do as many walk-n-talk meetings as possible.

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About the authors Jessica & Maria

Challengize health tips are written for us by Jessica Norrbom and Maria Ahlsén, both with PHDs in medicine. Since 2013 they run their own business Fortasana working mainly with diet, training and health from a scientific perspective. Maria and Jessica have written several books and regularly lecture focusing mainly on popular health myths and explain what is actually true from a scientific perspective when it comes to diets, trends and newspaper headlines.

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