Working from home has affected our health – here’s how to fix it.
Heavier, weaker, lonely and mentally burned out – that’s what the majority responded in a survey conducted by the American Psychiatric Association which asked people who are working from home about their experiences.
But wait. We all thought working from home was supposed to be a low stress lifestyle with plenty of time to eat healthy, exercise and have more balance in our lives. As it turns out there are different pressures with working at home than in the office.
The problems with WFH
Social isolation. An important issue with working from home is social isolation. Social isolation is obviously tied to things like depression and anxiety, but not as obvious is the association with poor heart health, eating habits, and overall physical health.
Excessive sitting is an issue, too. According to the American Heart Association the amount of time we’re sitting has increased. Sitting isn’t bad but when we remove our old ways like walking to our car, the office, to meetings, to lunch, the store, we lose a lot of steps and instead spend more time sitting in front of a computer, on the couch, and have items door-dashed to our homes.
The distractions in today’s ultra-consuming world aren’t helping the work from home problem. Many are replacing exercise and eating well with time on Instagram, TikTok and tv streaming. Somehow binge watching became cool when it’s really just a refined way to say couch potato. Telling friends that you just binge watched two seasons of a series is something to post on social media when just a few years earlier you would have been embarrassed. An inactive lifestyle can be bad for our heart and a factor for diabetes, too.
WFH Posture. And the list continues. There is a buzz phrase which describes a common condition of the home-based worker – WFH posture. The results of poor posture are weak ab muscles, circulation problems, arthritis, and more.
How to fix your body and mind
Ok, so our bodies are screwed up right now. And even though we’ve struggled to get out of the work from home downer over the past two years, the good news is our mental and physical health can improve quickly.
Luckily, the body and mind are connected. If we do good for our bodies then we feel better mentally, too. Almost instantly after establishing a positive change in our daily fitness routine, confidence builds and anxiety eases. The endorphins and positive feelings from moving more begin to impact every area of our lives – better relationships, better job performance, and an improved outlook on life.
Simply stand up more. The first step in reentering the world of fitness is standing up more often and taking more steps. Muscles that were weak from excessive seating will begin to strengthen. If you sit at a desk and computer all day, take 5 minute breaks several times per day and go for a walk – anywhere. For added incentive and tracking use a smartwatch or bring your phone with you to track your steps and try to reach daily step goals. Besides step trackers that come with your phone there are tons of step tracking apps you can install if you don’t use a watch.
More than just exercise – we need to be part of a community. If you’re like so many people working and spending more time at home, loneliness has been a huge problem. The solution – the uplifting community at AFC Fitness. The inspirational effect of seeing and being near other people at the gym who are also striving for better health can be comforting and motivating – and that includes coaches, trainers, staff and other gym members from the same area where you live, so you already have so much in common. There are many ways to feel the positive energy of the AFC community. If you’re on the shy side, take advantage of the free personal training sessions at AFC Fitness – every new member gets two. A personal trainer will walk you through how to use equipment and help make a plan for sustained success, and you’ll make a new friend. For those looking for more opportunities to socialize there are classes, small group training, the gym café, member events, and indoor sports at the Sports Complex in Bala Cynwyd.
Zero Instagram models. Don’t pay attention to Instagram photos of models and perfectly shaped bodies at the gym. That’s not reality. AFC Fitness has everyday people trying to improve their health. Nobody is judgy or intimidating and the support you’ll find at AFC Fitness will help you stay motivated and on track with your fitness goals.
Surround yourself with support. Having support is crucial to success in every area of our lives. The key is surrounding yourself with likeminded people. AFC Fitness has the support and resources you need to be happy, healthy and achieve more.
Start a free 30 day trial and discover studio classes, aquatics, Yoga, work with trainers, and try hundreds of the latest strength and cardio equipment. And with over 70 classes to choose from every week, you’ll be sure to find something new to challenge and change you!