Full disclosure—I work from home most days now. If I am doing it right, you likely didn’t even know that!
I am not complaining. There are plusses to this new arrangement. My commute is a short flight of stairs from my bedroom to a corner of my living room. My work attire is simple and comfortable…and far less expensive…than it was for my in-office days. I have hours of uninterrupted quiet time to edit stories and prep issues. The list goes on. But it isn’t all sunshine and roses. I often miss the social aspect of my job. I used to know everything about my coworkers’ lives in and out of the office. Now, I know only what is shared in Zoom meetings.
My bigger concern, however, is the effect on my health. Nowadays, I sit…a lot! Not only does this increase my risk for heart disease and certain cancers and exacerbate my diabetes, it also can affect my mental health. A study out of Iowa State University found that people who spent more time sitting because of the pandemic tended to have more symptoms of depression than people who kept active.
Good news: There is an easy way to counteract these negative effects—just five minutes of walking every half-hour, according to researchers at Columbia University Medical Center. I don’t even have to walk fast—just a normal walk to the mailbox, around the block, even just around my house.
You may be thinking, I am retired—this doesn’t apply to me. But retired or not—how many hours did you spend sitting today? Maybe it is time to take a quick walk!