5 Ways to burn calories when you work from home

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It is a double edge sword working from home. Whether you are a freelancer, blogger, virtual assistant, IT person, travel professional or whomever, working from home has it advantageous:

  • Commute from your bedroom to home office
  • No need for a closet full of business suits (but we do recommend you get ready for the day to be more productive)
  • Less wear and tear on your car and less gas too
  • No break room drama. It’s now closed FaceBook group drama. The new ‘break room’.

However, if you been working from home for awhile, you may find yourself sitting for hours on end finishing projects, tasks and just one more post on social media. Even if you get your 1/2 to and hour of exercise in daily, sitting for prolonged periods of time is detrimental to your health. According to a recent study released January 2015 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, regular exercise does not offset the risk of sitting for long periods of time. The findings were gleaned from 47 past studies that working out an hour daily does not account for being sedentary the remaining 23 hours. From one’s daily commute, to catching a show on the tube, to working at one’s desk, to waiting for the kids at little league practice or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, we are always sitting. Choose to stand. Choose to move around.

According to the Harvard Health Publication from Harvard Medical School, “The researchers adjusted for other types of activity people did, from leisure-time activities to vigorous exercise. Over the course of these studies, people who sat for prolonged periods of time had a higher risk of dying from all causes — even those who exercised regularly. The negative effects were even more pronounced in people who did little or no exercise.”

Personally, I sit for no longer than 45 minutes at once for the most part. I need to get up and move around if I’ve been sitting for that long. And DVR doesn’t help. Stop fast-forwarding through the commercials. Let them play and get up for two minutes.

So what can you do to burn calories when you work from home?

burn calories working from home
take a walk marcino / Pixabay

1. Go for a walk

Before I get started writing, I usually need to go for a stroll along our lake. It opens my mind, quiets the external noise and gives room for my creative juices to flow. I take a short walk for 10-15 minutes and return home refreshed ready for the next task.

2. Do some stairs

If your home has more than one level, hike up and down those stairs 10x’s at the end of your 45 minute sit. At least 7x’s in 10 minutes. Livestrong.com’s article, Calories Burned Climbing One Flight of Stairs, states:

The website HealthStatus notes a person who weighs 160 pounds burns about nine calories during a minute of walking up a set of stairs. During the same activity, a 210-pound person burns about 12 calories. If climbing a flight of stairs takes you about 30 seconds, expect to burn half the above calories. While this calorie burn might seem low, standing in the elevator for a minute burns about one and two calories, respectively, for the two people.

3. Get up and dance

This is a fun one for me. Turn on some music and move your body. For one, if you are preparing for any tough calls or you just had a stressful last 45 minutes, this may just get your mind back in the right space. Health.com indicates you can burn up 221 calories in 30 minutes prancing around the house to upbeat tempos. So raise your hands in the air and move’em like you just don’t care. At least that is what Health.com says can boost the calorie burn… raising you hands high and moving them to the beat.

jump rope to burn calories
jump rope Hans / Pixabay

4. Jump rope

This is an old childhood past time that I never let go. There is a jump ropes sitting next to my desk. I often jump rope when I am on hold or I get frustrated about something while working. With the Mayweather v. Pacquiao fight this weekend, I am reminded that jumping rope and boxing go hand in hand. After all, Sylvester Stallone jump roped his way through a whole series of Rocky movies and look at him years later. Okay, I know he did more than jump rope, but you get the idea.

5. Play some darts

Go grab your old dart board from college and hang it up in your office. Yea, we’ll wait, we know you have one somewhere, right? For me, playing darts not only work out my arms, but it helps me focus. Notice a theme with my ‘at-home’ break activities? No? Well, they are all designed to relieve my stress, help me focus and return my mind to a happy state. When I am brainstorming new marketing ideas, I like a good game of darts. Ready, aim, fire! It’s amazing how many ideas and how much clarity I glean from a good game of darts.

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Do you work from home? What do you do beyond your regular workout to get the juices flowing?

Annals of Internal Medicine
Harvard Health Publication
Sporting News

Featured favorite on Food & Fitness Friday 5/12/2015.

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  1. These are all great ideas! Even being a SAHM I find a sit a lot – like sitting down to play trains or to write a blog post. I need to remember to get up and walk around every now and then! I do try to do little things, like walk around when talking on the phone.

    When I worked in an office, I would do searches for ways to stay active while in a desk chair. I came across great ideas like using the office chair to do arm dips, using the desk to do some push ups, or even just standing while talking on the phone.
    Jayni recently posted…Banana Split PancakesMy Profile

    1. Boy I needed this, I am always thinking I need to do that one more thing and of course I end up an extra 2 hrs on my butt so I got what I call my “PCbutt”.. so those stairs and my iTunes are gonna get a great work out from now on! And I will use my Timer better! Thanks for this!

      1. PCButt! Now that is a new one. lol. It is so easy to get caught up in the cycle of work, online social stuff and more. We need to encourage one another to get up and let our blood circulate.

  2. Love it ‘No break room drama. It’s now closed FaceBook group drama. The new ‘break room’ – and I also tend to sit for 45 min at a time working – and I do go up and down the stairs on those short breaks – walk the dogs about 1/2 hour jog-walk up and down hills – and planning more – Loved your post :)

  3. Great ideas! It is important to get exercise in when working at home! I think it would be a great idea to set up a schedule for the day as if you are leaving to go to work! Maybe have a routine where your get up and jog or go to the gym! Could be great to go for a walk during lunch time! Great post, hope you have a great week!
    Amanda Marie recently posted…{Summer Time Date}My Profile

    1. Amanda, that is great idea. I remember when I consulted for a partners in a real estate development firm years ago, two of the partners were body builders. They would work out during high pressured conference calls. They worked out constantly and ate very strategically. I may never get that detailed, but if I could take a page from their book I would work a lot more movement time in my schedule.

  4. These tips are great! I’ve been working at home for awhile now and even though my career is in fitness, I still have to do a lot of seated work. I definitely agree with your tip to never sit for more than 45 minutes, if possible. The challenge is to always MAKE myself get up instead of pushing myself to “do one more thing first!”

  5. I love this! I don’t work from home anymore, but I do work a desk job, and the rules are kind of the same. I will have to remember this! I’m always trying to get extra steps in or sneak in exercise however I can. Thanks for coming to my party!
    Jebbica recently posted…Food & Fitness Friday: 05-01-2015My Profile

  6. At work (office) they recently installed standing desks. It’s easy to sit for hours. Now, when I feel my back (I have a bad back) starting to twinge, I raise that desk. I march in place. I go somewhere to refill my water bottle. Sitting is truly dangerous. I wish I had known that years ago.
    Alana recently posted…Zone of TwilightMy Profile

  7. I like your suggestions of taking a walk before starting the day. Getting that adrenalin pumped is always good!
    I just moved into our new house so I’ve been going up and down the stairs getting things organized.

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