6 ways to stay healthy as a remote worker

Cup of black coffee

Ok, hands up. I’m a remote worker!

I’m one of those annoying people who sit in the local coffee shop, hogging the power outlet, using the Wi-Fi and ‘working remotely’ while sticking innumerable americanos and cups of tea down my neck (I can feel your disdain already…).

You may *think* we’re all frustrated novelists with grand dreams of becoming the next J. K. Rowling. But, in fact, an awful lot of us are actually running businesses, doing hard work and keeping the economy ticking over…while eating far too many chocolate muffins, of course.

According to a recent article on the Forbes business website, us remote workers are actually happier and a lot more productive than our office-bound contemporaries (take that, old-school office workers!).

But there is one VERY big problem of sitting on your butt in a coffee shop all day…

It’s really bad for your health!

The problem of being a sedentary worker

When you’re a coffee-shop worker, you spend most of your day sat down in front of a laptop, not burning any calories. And when you’re sat in a cafe, you feel duty bound to buy drinks and sample the many cakes and treats, so you eat a lot of unhealthy food.

Unhealthy food + sedentary working day = out-of-shape worker

So, how can you enjoy all the benefits of remote working AND remain fit, healthy and looking your best while artfully sipping a flat white in the corner window seat?

Here’s a few ideas that will help.

1. Vary your coffice location

Don’t stay in the same ‘coffice’ (coffee shop office) all day – work from 2 or 3 different locations.

When I first started working remotely, I’d sit down at 9.30am in my local coffee shop and then find I hadn’t moved (other than for calls of nature and to buy more coffee) for the WHOLE DAY!

Sitting down for that long, with no real breaks and no exercise, is bad for you – both for your body and your level of concentration. Our brains can only handle focused concentration for 90 to 120 minute periods after all, so you shouldn’t work through without taking a breather.

So you need to take regular breaks and move around. Find 3 or 4 coffee shops that you like, and vary which ones you visit throughout the day.

Mix it up, change your surroundings and get off your posterior!

2. Walk, don’t drive!

Walk when you can do and get some exercise (cut down on your pork life mate!)

If you’re travelling from home to your coffice of choice, use those two bendy things with feet on the end of them.

The temptation to jump in the car, get a lift or use public transport is strong (humans are lazy creatures, as a rule). But by taking regular walks, and giving your body a little workout, you’ll soon start burning off a few of those cake-derived calories.

3. Track your steps and calories

Sad as it may seem, getting a fitness tracker WILL help you focus more on your exercise levels and your calorie intake.

I have a Fitbit tracker, but there are tonnes of other options out there on the market. Having an app on your phone that shows you stats around numbers of steps taken, exercise done and calories burned really does help.

You’ll soon be getting competitive with yourself (or other people, if you share data) and trying to make sure you meet that 10,000 step goal.

4. Do some proper exercise

Walking is a good way to fit some exercise into your day. But you also need to take time out to visit the gym, go for a swim or take a run too.

Work exercise time into your schedule and block it out in your diary, or set a calendar reminder. Don’t make excuses, either. Whether it’s rain or shine, do the exercise you’ve promised yourself you’ll do – and it will make those fitness stats look an awful lot rosier too (go, you!).

5. Minimise your intake of caffeinated and sugary drinks

Ditch the cappuccinos and chai lattes and swap to peppermint or herbal tea, or plain old water.

There’s a strange misconception in our consumer minds that drinks can’t be as bad for you as unhealthy food. But a quick look at the calorie count for many coffee shop beverages will reveal that some are chock full of sugar and calories – a recent study found some have as much as 25 teaspoons of sugar in them!

If you’re anything like me, you WILL need at least one coffee to kick the old brain into life. But don’t drink coffee all day. Try a herbal tea and you’ll soon find you’re less of a caffeine monster.

6. Don’t be tempted to snack

Don’t snack on lots of cakes and sugary snacks – resist temptation and only eat at meal times.

Yeah, it’s VERY tricky to blot out all those cakes, muffins and biscuits that line the coffee shop counter when you’re ordering your healthy herbal tea. But be strong and cut out food that’s not a genuine breakfast or lunch meal.

When you do eat, choose something healthy. Try to steer away from too many starchy, heavy sandwiches and paninis and stick to salads, healthy wraps or sushi etc.

Be a healthier coffice worker

Staying healthy is good for your physical health,. but it’s also good for your more rounded well-being and state of mind.

So, make a few changes and start seeing the difference. You’ll be more energised, more productive and there will be far less chance of your jeans splitting at the seams…probably.

Oh…and if you have had a really BAD day, one muffin is definitely allowed (I won’t tell anyone, promise 😉 )

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