Are you sitting comfortably? Well, why not get up and do some exercises. Online teachers spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer and it is so easy to forget that, as human beings, we are designed to move around. I can easily sit down to work at eight in the morning and not have moved until two in the afternoon. And it is killing me.
Sitting down slows down your metabolism because you are not moving your muscles. This messes with your bloodstream and reduces the effects of insulin. Over time it also causes stress in your lower back and can lead to serious injuries. Sitting down for prolonged periods of time increases your chances of heart disease by 64%!
As online teachers we should be more aware of our working conditions. We’re self-employed so we don’t have unions looking out for us. We need to look after ourselves.
When you timetable your classes, put in blocks of activity time. Making a mental note – ‘Must move more’- is not going to work. We all know that when we go down the internet rabbit hole, we’re not getting up anytime soon. Your activity time is as important as your teaching time. When your timetable says it is time to do some exercise, do it! No excuses. Set an alarm if you need to and place it far from your desk.
Even simply standing up is better than sitting down. When you are on the phone, stand up. You don’t need to be seated to use a phone. Or to have lunch for that matter. Get, or improvise, a stand-up desk so you can still teach and use a computer while you’re on your feet.
Eat healthy. That means nutritious foods, like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. People who work from home notice hunger quicker than office workers. Avoid junk food to stave off the munchies. Have healthy snacks like fruit or nuts around. Drinking water helps enormously. It stops you feeling hunger and it makes sure you get up to go to the bathroom regularly.
Disconnect! You have a life. Try to have a separate area in your home for your workspace. When the day’s work is done, leave that area. Do not be tempted to just answer a few emails or look up that fancy coffee pot on Amazon. Clock off physically and mentally. You will feel better for it.
Get out of the house. Walking is a perfect activity to reduce stress, to get the blood flowing, to check out the latest Billie Eilish album and, if you’re lucky, to meet other human beings; real ones not talking heads on a screen. There are lots of walking apps available to motivate you and it doesn’t take long to develop walking as a healthy habit.
And sleep! Sleep strengthens your immune system, improves memory, makes your heart stronger and can help you avoid putting in weight. Let MyCoolClass take care of business but you, please, take care of yourself. You’re important!