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How to use Apple Watch to stay healthy while working from home

Stay healthy while working from home with your Apple Watch

For folks who work from home, being inside all day at the desk can literally be a pain in the neck. Here's how to take care of your health and wellness using your Apple Watch.

Many people with work from home (WFH) jobs spend all day indoors hunched over their desks and struggle to stay healthy. With an Apple Watch, even small adjustments to your WFH routine can make a huge difference.

Get more sleep

For a productive workday, you need to set yourself up for optimal energy in the morning. To do this, customize your bedtime schedule via the Health app, and stick to it.

Improve your sleep using your Apple Watch
Improve your sleep using your Apple Watch

Once your sleep schedule is set via the Health app, your watch screen will not illuminate unless you tap on the screen during your bedtime. This also prevents notifications from keeping you awake unless you set exceptions from specific contacts.

Keep track of your time asleep and quality of sleep over the course of days and weeks. You'll see a pattern of what's preventing you from sufficient rest.

You might notice that you have more awake minutes on certain nights and more REM, core, and deep sleep on other nights.

As you monitor your sleep time and stages, take note of what caused you to stay up longer than you should, or what stopped you from getting restful sleep. Make changes as needed so that you're getting sufficient rest each night.

Stay hydrated

It's easy to neglect drinking water when we're not working outdoors, so dehydration is very common among folks who work from home.

Stay hydrated with reminders from your Apple Watch
Stay hydrated with reminders from your Apple Watch

Thankfully, there are many apps that track water intake and remind you to drink water throughout the day, so you can stay hydrated and healthy.

Two notable hydration tracking apps are Hidrate and WaterLlama, which are both free with optional paid features.

The Hidrate app can be paired with a smart water bottle so you can connect your iPhone and get data on how much water you've had.

It can be set up as a complication on your watch to show percent of goal or bottles remaining. It can also be integrated with Apple Health.

WaterLlama has many useful features such as custom reminders to drink water and syncing with Apple Health. It stands out amongst other water tracking apps because of its colorful animals and fun challenges.

Healthy heart rate

When work is especially stressful, it's important to keep track of your heart rate and take time to breathe and calm down.

Take care of your well-being with the Mindfulness feature
Take care of your well-being with the Mindfulness feature

The Heart Health feature on your Apple Watch can help you to monitor your heart rate and alert you in case of an irregular rhythm or high heart rate. However, note that it never checks for heart attacks.

When you feel stressed, open the Mindfulness feature on your watch. Set the number of minutes you want, and your watch will guide you through a calming breathing session using haptic feedback.

A mere minute of this breathing exercise can calm you down and protect your physical and mental health during a tough workday, and your heart will thank you for it.

Stay active

It's easy to be engrossed in work for hours, but to prevent symptoms of back pain or carpal tunnel, regular stretching and movement is important.

Apple Watch has activity trackers built in, and you can track your progress as you go through the day. It's broken down into three categories, or rings.

You can set your daily move goal, exercise goal, and stand goal. Make sure to turn on Stand Reminders in your Watch app under Activity, so you get up at least once per hour during your workday.

It might not be easy at first to adjust to the hourly reminders to stand, but you will grow to appreciate them as your body feels better after a long day of work.

Take these hourly stand breaks to stretch your neck, wrist, legs and back, and you might be surprised how much it refreshes you for continued work, making you even more productive.

Besides the regular reminders to move, it's good to have a regular routine of exercise. This is where pairing your watch with Apple Fitness+ comes in handy.

If you don't have to leave home for work, chances are you won't want to leave home for the gym either. Even if you're not a morning person, all you have to do is put on your workout clothes, select an Apple Fitness workout, and press play.

There are Apple Fitness+ audio workouts and exercise trackers on your Apple Watch. You can also use an iPhone or iPad to follow along on workout videos while your watch tracks your metrics.