How to Stay Active While Social Distancing
March 20, 2020 / Corporate Wellness
Social distancing and self-quarantine doesn’t mean exercise has to stop—it just means getting creative!
The impact of COVID-19 has prompted organizations around the world to activate work from home policies to ensure the safety of employees and limit the spread of the virus.
With many of us staying at home and limiting human contact, it’s now more important than ever to make sure we’re prioritizing health and wellbeing, especially when it comes to maintaining physical activity.
Keeping physically active has so many benefits, including:
- Improved concentration
- Enhanced creativity
- Reduced stress levels
- Lower risk of chronic diseases
- Improved mental health
- Lower risk of musculoskeletal disorders
- Boosted job performance
So how can employees maintain a regular exercise routine while making sure they’re following recommendations for self-quarantine or social distancing? By getting creative!
- Working from home tends to mean we get less steps. We’re not socializing with coworkers or walking to get coffee or lunch and virtual meetings require little movement. Planning regular breaks throughout the day for a walk, to put on a load of laundry or to check the mail is a great way to boost daily step counts.
- Make it a team activity! Put a daily team meeting on the calendar for a physical activity break, such as a 5-minute stretch or a quick walk around the block.
- If your workplace uses a social platform like Slack, Yammer or Microsoft Teams, set up a channel where colleagues can share any online workouts, virtual Yoga classes or running routes that they’ve been using. You’d be surprised how many free workouts are available online that don’t involve any gym equipment.
- Set up a stand-up desk home at home and try to alternate one hour sitting and one hour standing. You can get creative with how you set it up and encourage your team to do so, too!
- If you have limited mobility there are many different chair exercises that you can do. You can start with some ankle and wrist rolls to loosen up then try some single-leg calf raises and seated shoulder presses. Don’t forget to end with some stretches, maybe with some seated torso twists – the combinations are endless.
- Organize a company-wide 30-day squat or push-up challenge where employees incrementally add more squats or push-ups into their routine each day. Add in a little fun competition by asking who can do the most after 30 days.
- Wellbeing challenges provide huge benefits to your organization including teamwork, collaboration, social connection and most importantly, healthier employees. Set up a healthy habit or activity challenge to keep employees connected, motivated and healthy during times of isolation.
- Initiate a challenge in your organization where employees submit videos of their creative home workouts with a prize going to the most creative. Incentives will motivate your employees to be more physically active while encouraging idea-sharing and socialization.
There are plenty of ways to get moving at home. Encourage your employees to think outside the box instead of outside the house.
For more tips on helping keep employees happy and healthy, download our tip sheet with simple ideas for staying energized throughout the day.