Alison Pask, Executive Director, Activity and Nutrition Aotearoa says it is vital that everyone participate in regular physical activity during the current lockdown and eat well. Following the Ministry of Health Eating and Activity Guidelines will contribute to long term wellbeing and will help to build a strong immune system to fight off unwanted illness.
Establishing a structured routine while working from home will benefit most people. Eating regular meals and stopping for a lunch break are vital to establish a new routine. Some people will find the access to the kitchen cupboards tempting and Pask suggests eating and work be kept separate.
Frequent breaks for movement will help the brain and body function to full potential. This may mean taking a short break to walk to the end of the street or get outside in the garden and breathe in the fresh air.
Maintaining an adequate fluid intake is important and having a bottle of water at your desk will prevent frequent trips to the kitchen.
Winding down at the end of the day is vital and finishing work at a set time and swapping to home-based activities will help establish structure. Close off your computer and do something to relax before bed to ensure a good night’s sleep.
For many this will be a stressful time and finding ways to manage stress are vital for brain health. Pask recommends finding comfort other than food to help manage stressful times.
Following the advice of the Ministry of Health including handwashing and social distancing is essential.
Five ways to stay active while working from home
- Break up long periods of sitting such as setting an alarm hourly to remind you to stand up and move
- When talking on the phone move around while talking
- When on a zoom or conference call stand up for the during of the meeting
- Eat your lunch outdoors on fine days
- Take a break to walk around the block while maintaining the 2-metre rule.
Five ways to eat well while working from home
- Start the day with breakfast
- Drink plenty of tap water during the day
- Eat food away from your computer
- Choose fruit as a snack
- Morning and afternoon tea breaks don’t have to include food.
View the Ministry of Health food and Activity guidelines here