As working from home during the coronavirus outbreak becomes the new norm, many of us have become even more tethered to our screens — and our chairs — than usual.
Luckily, Derrick Evans is here to help.
You may know him as Mr. Motivator. He rose to fame in the United Kingdom in the 1990s with his high-energy exercise routines on morning TV — and his neon spandex.
Evans says that prolonged periods of staring at a computer screen can take a real toll on the body.
“If you’re sitting at a desk and using your computer, after a while you’ll find that all the wonderful muscles you have in your body start to tighten up,” he said.
That’s why introducing movement throughout the day is key.
His first tip? Put sneakers on.
“When you have your sneakers on, psychologically you’re already telling yourself: You need to do something,” Evans explained.
Once you’re wearing sneakers, put on some background music (instead of, say, the TV). That will encourage you to get up and move. And if that’s not enough, Evans recommends setting a timer on your phone every 30 or 45 minutes to remind yourself to stand up from your chair and walk around.
For posture — which also takes a hit after long hours of sitting at a computer — Evans recommends one simple exercise to relieve shoulder tension.
“Imagine that there’s an orange between your shoulder blades — or a lemon. I want you to gently squeeze the juice out between that lemon or orange … Automatically, you’ve changed your posture,” he said.
Ultimately, there are lots of different ways to incorporate movement into your daily routine — even when working from home.
“You’ve got so much in your home you can use for exercise. You’ve got the stairs — you can go up and down the stairs,” he suggested.
Most importantly, Evans says, be comfortable in your space — and have fun. You might find that the rest of your family will join in, too.
“Make it all fun, and then people are more likely to do it,” he says.