Posted by Helen Vasserman on April 30, 2021
Helen Vasserman

Are you trying to find ways to stay active while working from home? Without the commute to work or the option to walk around the office, many of us have been less active during the day. Not to worry, there are some easy ways you can change that! 

You might be thinking: “I don’t have time to take a long break in the middle of the day to do a workout”. The truth is, you don’t need a lot of time to stay active. You also don’t need to spend money on classes or equipment. Here are a few simple and cost-effective ways to add activity into your day-to-day routine:'

  1. Set an alarm or a timer once an hour to remind yourself to stand up
    It’s important to change your position and posture because it promotes a healthy metabolism

  2. When on the phone for a call, try to walk around (if possible!)
    Moving your body is key! This helps reduce tension in the muscles

  3. Re-energize with an activity during your lunch break
    This can be anything from a walk or a bike ride outside to a short yoga session – do what makes you feel good!

  4. Start a workplace wellness challenge!
    At Dialogue, employees have teamed up virtually to participate in a charity challenge. It’s motivating us to walk, run, bike or do any activity we desire, all for a good cause. And since we’re tracking our activity, this helps with accountability, connecting colleagues and even creates a fun little friendly competition.

For those of you sitting at a desk all day, you may notice stiffness or pain in your joints and muscles. Here are some simple exercises that you can do at your desk to help:


Neck & shoulders: 

  • Grab onto the edge of your desk with your elbows bent and pull the desk back towards you in the direction of your elbows. During this movement, try to focus on bringing your shoulder blades together and down and hold. Make sure not to lift your shoulders up!


Back & hips:

  • Performing a seated “cat/cow” exercise will help move your spine after being in one position for a long time. You can do this by alternating between arching and curving your spine. Make sure to use your entire spine, including your neck! 

  • Activating your deep core muscles can also be done from a seated position at your desk and will help bring some stability to your spine. Find a neutral spine position; this is the position when all three curves of your spine (neck, mid-back, low back) are under the least amount of stress and in proper alignment and what people often refer to as “good posture”. In this position, press your hands down on your desk, and you should feel a muscle contraction in your abdominal area. 


Perform these exercises for 30 seconds when you start to feel pain or discomfort. You can repeat these as many times as you need throughout your day! 

Not sure if you’ll have the time or motivation for that? A good alternative would be to invest in your workspace setting. Purchasing a standing desk will encourage you to stay active during the day (but make sure to take note of your posture if you are standing for long periods of time!). If you prefer to be seated, you can purchase an exercise ball and swap that out throughout the day for your regular chair. Having this type of chair will force you to maintain a minimum level of muscle contraction that will help alleviate or prevent future aches and pains.

If you find that you experience pain when working during the day, consult a practitioner who will be able to assess and advise you before making any changes to your routine. If they encourage you to increase your activity level, consider that as a great place to start!

Topics: Health and Wellness

About the author

Helen Vasserman is a certified Athletic Therapist who graduated from Concordia University and is currently studying at the Centre Ostéopathique du Québec to complete her studies in Osteopathy. She is passionate about understanding the biomechanics and function of the body and using that knowledge to help people of all ages to feel and move better. She helps prevent and treat injuries through manual therapy and exercises so that everyone can continue being healthy and active!