• World Health Organization has some tips for exercising at home.
  • Physical activity reduces risk of chronic disease and eases anxiety.
  • Even a short break from sitting at your desk makes a difference.

We’ve spent months at home, many of us trying to do our jobs remotely, sitting for long periods in front of our computers, tablets, TVs and smartphones.

And it’s likely that all this inactivity has been detrimental to our physical and mental health.

Exercising regularly helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, various cancers and obesity. It has also been shown to ease anxiety and depression and reduce the risk of dementia.

Yet summoning up the motivation to exercise can be hard enough at the best of times, never mind during a pandemic.

So the World Health Organization (WHO) has provided some simple tips to help keep as active as possible at home.

These include: online fitness classes; dancing for a few minutes; walking up and down stairs; playing active video games; working out with a skipping rope; and doing stretching, muscle strength and balance training exercises.

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The WHO recommends being as active as possible at home.
Image: WHO

The Be Active campaign is aimed at people of all ages and abilities and is part of the WHO’s wider #HealthyAtHome challenge, which suggests ways to look after our mental and physical health during coronavirus restrictions.

The WHO recommends 30 minutes of physical activity per day for healthy adults staying home, and one hour for children.

Just a short break from sitting makes a difference, the WHO says. Three or four minutes of light intensity movement, such as walking or stretching, helps to improve circulation and muscle activity.

Plus, regular physical activity can help to lift overall mood and provide structure to days spent at home.