About a month ago, I experienced an annoying pain in my left calf as I settled myself down to bed for the night. The pain felt like a Charlie horse, except it was located in one very specific small spot, and it lasted about an hour. Fortunately, it went away and I was able to get to sleep, but it worried me for a few days. There is a history of DVT (deep vein thrombosis) blood clots in my family and so I am familiar with the symptoms, which include a Charlie horse-like sudden pain in the calf.
People who live a sedentary lifestyle or sit for long periods of time are more likely to suffer from blood clots (“On the Alert for Deep-Vein Blood Clots”—Harvard Health Publications). I do consider myself to be an active person; I’m always running around doing errands, gardening, cleaning the house, or using the elliptical machine in our basement. However, I do spend a lot of time during the day sitting at a desk.
When I worked full-time in “cubicle land” I would find all kinds of excuses to get up from my desk and take a little walk around the floor where I worked. I’d grab a coffee, go to the bathroom, or find someone I needed to talk to…anything to get me out of that cubicle. Sometimes I forget that even though I work from home now, I should still get up from my desk every now and then to get moving and stay active.
News from Harvard Health confirms that,
“You can take simple steps to prevent DVT and PE. Moving your legs is the best medicine:
• If you have to sit for several hours—on a plane, in a train or car, or at work—try to get up and move around as often as you can.”
In no particular order, I’ve come up with a list of ten of the activities I most like to do when I need to get up and away from my home office desk in an effort to prevent health problems such as DVT. Each task takes 15 minutes or less and gets my legs moving!
Image source: Participaction
1. Head down to the porch to deadhead and water my flowers.
2. Take a walk to the mailbox around the corner to retrieve the mail.
3. Take the neighbour’s dog for a walk around the block.
4. Collect the laundry from around the house and throw on a load. Better yet, take the clothes from the washer and hang them out on the clothesline.
5. Empty and/or load the dishwasher.
6. Run up and down the stairs a few times.
7. Vacuum one level of the house.
8. Jump rope.
9. Take a photo walk around the neighbourhood.
10. Pull weeds until one bucket is full.
If you work from home, what do you do to get yourself away from your desk every once in awhile?