6 Simple Wellness Exercises for Remote Workers
Whether you’re working at a physical office or from the comfort of your own home, it’s absolutely crucial to take breaks for all-around health. Wellness at work can mean physical comfort in the form of supportive chairs and well-adjusted desks, but it also extends to mental wellness.
Much like back pain might slow down your productivity, stress and tiredness can affect your workflow as well! Having a foggy brain from overworking can negatively impact the rest of your day. Taking breaks to refresh your mind can be beneficial, and luckily, there are many easy ways to do just that!
Many of the wellness exercises listed here can be done in 5-10 minutes--perfect for those rest periods if you’re doing the pomodoro technique, or when you’re taking a break between tasks.
Remember, wellness looks different for everyone, depending on your mood, your current task, and even the time of day! We’ve broken down these wellness breaks into two categories.
- Calming exercises (for stressful work days that need some slower moments)
- Energizing exercises (for repetitive work days that need an extra boost)
3 Calm Break For Remote Worker
Calm Break #1: Release Tension
Take a moment right now. Unclench your teeth, drop your shoulders, and take a deep breath. You might have released a whole knot of tension you didn’t even know you were carrying!
As you work at your desk throughout the day, your body builds up a lot of tension that you may not even be aware of. This is why it’s so important to take breaks to release your stress!
Start by giving your eyes a break from your screen. Long hours of looking at a bright screen can cause strain on your eyes, as well as dryness and redness. Take a few minutes to look out a window, or close your eyes for a while.
Next, release tension in your shoulders and neck. Roll your shoulders to loosen your muscles, and lean your neck from side to side (try to touch your ear to your shoulder). Simple movements like this can help you stretch out any stiff or cramped muscles.
Check out this full set of neck and shoulder stretches!
Calm Break #2: Breathing Exercises
Many of us don’t think twice about breathing while we’re at our desk--it’s a natural part of life. But taking a few minutes to be mindful about your breathing can help you control your stress levels while you’re at work! Breathing exercises are so simple, too. You won’t even have to leave your desk!
To calm yourself with breathing exercises, you can try the “4-7-8” breathing method. Inhale deeply for a count of 4, hold for 7, and exhale all the way for 8. This helps you to focus on your breathing and forget about your work for a few minutes.
If it helps, envision your worries filling a large bubble as you inhale. As you exhale, imagine the bubble floating away.
This video is easy to follow, and guides you through the 4-7-8 technique!
Calm Break #3: Relaxation Station
This takes a little bit of prep, but once your relaxation station is set up, you can retreat to it whenever you need a break! If possible, move away from your desk when you take your wellness break, as the physical change in environment will help you get out of “work mode” for a few minutes.
Everyone has a different way to relax, so take note of what works for you as you plan your station. Also note how often you need to take breaks, as well as what you enjoy doing during these down times. (More on creating a self-care guide here.)
Here are some ideas to help you out as you organize your space!
- Ambient music--soothes your mind and improves focus
- Colouring books/doodling--stimulates your creativity
- Stress balls/fidget toys--helps you release nervous energy
- Zen garden--a mindful escape for your brain
3 Energy Break For Remote Worker
Energy Break #1: Get Your Blood Moving
It probably comes as no surprise, but a quick way to wake yourself up is to move! Walking around, stretching, and even light jogging on the spot will make your blood move, and your mind will wake up with it.
Exercise can also boost your mood, and give you a better attitude to approach your workday with!
Try some simple desk exercises between tasks, and loosen your muscles while you get your energy up. You’ll find that you’re much more productive after that! You can also head over to our ergonomics blog for 6 fun yoga exercises to improve circulation from your desk
Energy Break #2: Tea Break
Certain kinds of tea can give you an extra energy boost during the day! Try green teas or yerba mate teas, as they both contain less caffeine than a cup of coffee but can keep you going when you’re in a slump. Look out for these ingredients when you brew your next cup.
- Peppermint makes you more alert
- Ginger improves your blood flow and wakes you up
- Licorice root stimulates your adrenal glands and raises your energy levels
Pro Tip: Pair your drink with a high-protein snack to fuel your body and brain. Trail mix, apples, and even dark chocolate will do the trick!
Energy Break #3: Crank the Tunes
While chill, ambient music is great for improving focus, it’s not great for repetitive tasks. If you find yourself falling asleep at your desk, it’s time to switch tracks to something with a better beat.
Studies have shown that upbeat music is effective in raising your productivity when you’re doing repetitive work. Up-tempo music makes you feel more driven, which helps you to complete your work faster! Music is also a great way to block out any distractions and help you zone in on your next task.
While you’re at it, why not take a dance break? Dance like nobody’s watching… and if you’re in your home office, why not? That’s a great way to wake your body up in a short amount of time.
What Can You Do To Prevent Desk Job Related Pains?
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To learn more about EFFYDESK’s products and services, be sure to check out our FAQ page or browse the blog archive for other helpful articles on ergonomics in the workplace.