Are You A Work From Home Zombie? Here's The Cure

by Jerrico_Usher

Don't Become/Stay a Zombie... There Are Some Great Ways To Maintain Your Health Even If You Work Online All The Time!

Do you work at home, online, and never seem to leave the computer for 16-18 hours a day? Do you have so many projects to do that you move into one right after another without even blinking? Have you designed your entire life around working all the time and find you almost never get up? Do you find yourself sitting still for 16 hours straight and feel your doing A LOT but to the outside world you'd look like a tree growing as the only parts of your body that move are your eyeballs, lungs, and hands/fingers?

This is a common happenstance these days as more and more people are finding a liberating "work at home" career of one type or another and find themselves slowly dipping out of (offline) society and into a state of brain awake, body deteriorating from lack of nutrition, movement/exercise, water, discipline, and live interaction with human beings. It's one of the fastest and most seamless ways people become online zombies and find their body can't take it. It starts with the body deteriorating, then the mind stops working as efficiently, and gets even worse from there! Sound Familiar? Read on...

Computer Based Coffin
Computer Based Coffin

The Body Needs Physical Activity Or It Breaks Down

As human beings we're not designed to sit still and work all the time. We're designed to move around, change locations, and find stimulation in a variety of ways including, but most importantly talking face to face with other people. So much is lost in the online world, although so much is also gained. You have to find a balance between healthy working and getting your work done.

In this article I'm going to share with you what I found works because to be honest, the aforementioned was me once upon a time. I do still work online and I do still spend sometimes entire days working (about 18 hours on average), but I've drastically changed my routine and have found it works incredibly well.

There are a few things you must do to prevent some serious injuries to your body and mental health.

I bet you didn't know you could get injured just sitting still did you? You can, and in fact one of the reasons people die are isolation. It can literally kill you! Sitting too long and too consistently all the time can kill you. Your at risk of dehydration, heart disease, hemorrhoids (most common), and more because sitting there your not utilizing even a third of your body's resources so they deteriorate or down regulate. When they do that and you need more energy you find it incredibly difficult to up-regulate back to normal, but it can be done with baby steps and a formula I'm going to share with you- 3 easy steps.


1. Get Up Every Hour








One of the worst things people do and don't realize it's hurting their body is to sit in a chair for a straight 16-18 hours everyday. They get so wrapped up in projects and multitasking, deadlines, and even when they aren't working they are "stumbling" (surfing the web for entertainment pages).

The problem is the body starts to go into atrophy just sitting there. Directly after sitting down, and I mean immediately the energy in your muscles drops dramatically and your calorie burning is reduced to 1 calorie per minute (less if your unhealthy)!  you experience a 40 percent reduction in glucose uptake in insulin if you sit there a full 24 hours!

We tend to eat more when we work (working, your brain is burning off a lot of your energy so you need nourishment to replace it). The problem is we tend to eat junk foods, energy drinks (including coffee), and all around crap.

Worse many drink next to 0 water. Caffeine and other diuretics tend to push 3x the water they bring into your body out- so drinking energy drinks/shots and coffee every day without drinking enough water to counter it is going to drastically dehydrate you. I've been to the hospital more than once for this reason and because I did this myself.

Since many of us don't get up at all and instead tend to stack up on food and drink (to store on the desk itself) so we can work diligently through without interruptions our body doesn't efficiently utilize the nourishment and to make matters worse the lack of calorie burning can cause most of what you eat to convert into fat.

If your not drinking water then your likely dehydrated as you read this and since the body NEEDS more water than it's getting you will likely take only a few if any bathroom breaks, so you won't even get up for that!


After 2 weeks of living a sedentary lifestyle

Your body starts to increase plasma triglycerides (which are fatty molecules), LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), and insulin resistance. What this means, essentially, is that your blood sugar levels go up but your muscles aren't taking in the fat it needs. Part of your energy and your body's livelihood is derived from muscles burning fat! This is an increase in your risk of gaining weight and even crashing.


Why You Get Tired When You Try To Exercise And Why It's Hard To "Breathe"

Your muscles begin to atrophy and worse your maximum oxygen consumption drops when you sit in the same place for 6+ hours a day for weeks, months, even years. This means that you will have to exercise and taper back up to being able to take in and process larger (normal) amounts of oxygen. This is why you feel so winded all the time if you haven't moved from that chair all day for weeks or haven't exercised for months. This exercise doesn't have to be strenuous or even fall into what most people consider exercise, but it does need to be slightly taxing. The important part is you need to multitask and put your body to work a bit- just walking is exercise, even if you don't push yourself- start small and work up.

Your body's tolerance/ability to process oxygen actually down regulates making only so much oxygen available (holding on to what you breathe in and using it). Part of the problem is your lungs become used to breathing in less oxygen and don't become inflated as far and this can feel like work to breathe when you try to do things that require more oxygen. In short, your body itself becomes a bit lazy and slow to process things the less you exercise. The longer you go without moving around the harder it is to push through that wall of torture but what's on the other side is well worth it.

As you exercise you have to push through the wall much like a muscle being built- at first it hurts, it's not easy at all, but the body will harmonize to your needs and will build a higher tolerance and thus doing tasks like running up the stairs becomes easier because you can breathe in and keep bio-availability to a high degree. 

Using your muscles also tightens them up making them more quick to respond. For your brain to work more diligently it needs water and oxygen in high doses. The less water your brain has the less electrical activity can be processed and the slower it processes even what it can. Water should be seen as an energy drink- the ultimate Energy drink actually. 

After months or years of nailing yourself to the desk all day with very little movement, breaks, standing up etc... you're going to have a hell of a time trying to climb stairs, walk, and even get into the flow of exercise. One reason many stay in this position is that exercise is incredibly harder to do the longer you've been in this state. Over the course of just one year you could deteriorate to uncomfortable and even dangerous levels- especially if you don't drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. (I know- it happened to me!)

If you make it through 4 years like this you will feel like a corpse most of the time, but all you have to do is start doing the things mentioned here and your body will recuperate, your energy rise, and the only real hard part is the first month or so as your acclimating your body to better health and what it's naturally designed for- living! A change in routine, a small one is all that's necessary, will do a world of good.

Even if you do exercise your body is in chaos, your muscles weakened and the very systems that use oxygen are limited but it's temporary- push through it using the system in this article. Get up, drink water, maintain 30 minutes a day in exercising- it's that simple. Consider this priming period as the punishment you deserve for letting this happen in the first place! (that helped me get through it).


Part of Ambition Is Physical












Ambition is partly activated physically and through chemicals your brain releases but these things require exercise (which creates more oxygen and makes drinking water much easier, even if you hate the taste of water, when you exercise and get thirsty it sounds like the best thing in the world doesn't it?


The solution to this kink is very simple and anyone, even a zombie can do it.


1. Get up at least once every hour for at least 15 minutes


Consider this part of your daily production. By getting up I mean you should walk around, climb some stairs, clean something, but it needs to be something where you engage your body in multitasking movement.

Nothing strenuous is required, just that your body is being used, blood is pumping more, and more calories are burning off. Just walking casually burns 3x the calories as sitting.

The idea is to remind your body that it's alive every hour and to force it to do it's job.



2. Exercise 30 Minutes A Day Minimum

You also need to get at least 30 minutes of heart pumping, adrenalin rushing, exercise in daily. You don't have to get it all at once, you can split it out throughout your day. Personally I think it's best to at least once an hour get your heart pumping for at least 5 minutes.

For this I bought, ironically, a stationary bike. You can get these for 50.00 on craigslist. When I get up I power down half the glass of water then jump on the bike for 5 minutes. Every other hour I push myself hard and the rest of the time I peddle fast but not to the point of exhaustion.

I then walk outside for a few minutes. One of the things you need is sunlight for Vitamin D so it's a good idea to break out of the house several times a day for several minutes. An hour of sun gives you plenty of D. You should also take at least a full day off every week and go outside if your always indoors.

Keep in mind that sunlight, at least the part your body needs, doesn't get past the window pane. Windows tend to filter the good stuff out so even if your desk is in a room that's 360 degrees of glass and you're in the suns direct path- you won't get enough sun. You can get sun rays through the screen, however. I used to think because my desk was in direct sunlight from the windows around me, that I was getting sun but really, I wasn't. I discovered I got more out of 20 minutes in the sun than a week in front of a window!


3. Drink more water.

Water balances your body's PH levels, hydrates you, and gives your body a power source to both keep you going and is used a great deal in digesting foods and breaking down the components in your foods to send the nutrients to their proper areas.

A cool thing about water is that the more you drink the more bathroom breaks you end up taking. If you drink just one 8 oz glass of water every hour you will at first use the water and as your body catches up and is "stocked" properly it will start to use the excess water to push toxins out of your body. Toxins often make you lethargic and tired, they break down the immune function and often just removing them does an amazing amount of good. Water is a great energizer because it both hydrates the body and especially the brain, but it also removes the toxic waste.

Also keep in mind that the body gives the organs top priority when it comes to water distribution amongst the cells. The brain is the last to get water (this is why you have a hangover when you drink, one reason anyway- the brain literally shrinks from dehydration and the nerves between your scull and brain are pulled on thus a whole head super sensitive headache). The same thing happens when your dehydrated in general.

Water has a great deal of beneficial properties, but one of the things that makes it uniquely great to the "get up once an hour" rule, is that it will FORCE you to get up likely more than once an hour to use the restroom. I use water to trigger me to have to get up more- it works!

Go to the bathroom but take 5 minutes to engage the body afterward. I live in a two story townhouse and we have two bathrooms. One is 50 feet away, the other upstairs- I take the stairs every time just to get more exercise on the way! I also use how hard it is to get up there as a gauge as to how much more work I need to do.

The healthier the body, the more it moves around, the better your mental state will feel. In fact if you are dehydrated your brain is working on fumes as it requires a lot of the water your body does take in to function properly. Think of water as literally electricity the brain uses or creates from it directly and indirectly. It helps me to keep in mind that one molecule of water can if the atoms are split power an entire city... Great visual to have when your drinking the stuff!


Need Motivation To Get Up Every Hour? Use The Water/Get Up Timer Technique:






I downloaded a free "egg timer" for the computer called "cool timer". This is a simple to use timer/stopwatch type application that has a feature allowing you to set a redundant alarm. You set it to chime off after 60 minutes. You can set it in settings to reset the 60 minutes upon the time expiring and your clicking ok. You can even set up a personal wav/mp3 file to use for some fun. I use a foghorn blast as mine that echoes nicely in my surround sound :)- can't miss it.

Every 60 minutes I get up, down an entire glass of water and do the stationary bike for about 5 minutes, then I LEAVE THE HOUSE. I'll go outside and do some yard work, walk briskly down the block or in place running/jumping jacks. It's not important that you overexert yourself but rather that you engage your body in activity that will "wake it up" consistently. This also expands your oxygen intake and upgrades your ability to process more oxygen over time.


Quick Recap:

1. Make sure you get up at least once an hour all day.  When you get up do something that engages the body and gets your heart pumping.

2. Get minimum 30 minutes of heart pumping exercise a day. This could be broken down over the entire day in 5 minute chunks if you like. The idea is to push the body a bit and more each day until your fit as a fiddle.

3. Get plenty of water into your body. This is one of the more important steps if not the most important. Water plays more of a role in the body than you think. A fellow wizzley author wrote a phenomenal article on water that you should check out if you have time- it's a brilliant read actually. She explains enough that you just may find yourself changing your thought process on water and it's importance in every day living. You can find it here: Health Benefits Of Drinking Water

Some Tips: Things I found Useful

( I did a lot of trial and error)

1. Riding a stationary bike every hour for 1 good minute of heart pumping exercise also makes you thirsty to the point where water sounds amazing, take advantage of this if you don't like water. One thing I've discovered is that if you wake up and before you have time to think about it you start exercising (i.e. on a stationary bike, walking etc...) you will soon develop a precedence of exercising right away, much like people build up the 'need' for coffee every morning. It gets your heart pumping right away and makes you energetic- and of course thirsty.


2. Don't tell yourself or even think about not liking water- don't reinforce a bad habit with excuses. Just do it- you'll feel a difference. Ultimately you will want to get to the point where you drink water all day long- you'll see a whole new side of life if you've not been drinking water for years (water contained in beverages is often not useful to the body in the same way plain water is. Think of it like water encapsulated in another molecule to the point where it gets flushed out more than absorbed and used. The body has to work harder to even extract the water in your drinks- so as a rule drink plain water when you want to count your intake for the day.


3. Although many of us think we can multitask, the fact is anything outside what your doing is a distraction, including a cluttered desk! Cut out the TV while you work- you'll finish faster, do better work, and our thirst for "entertainment" or a dopamine fix from doing gratifying "surfing" will be anticipated, not just "given" to you. You will not only appreciate breaks more but it will help keep you motivated to stay on track.


4. Make your bed every day- especially if you don't feel like it. It sets a precedence. If you start out your day doing things it's infective to everything else you do that day. I find the days I don't make my bed are the days I tend to feel laziest!


5. If your working so much you have no offline friends, that's a problem. Socializing is actually a requirement of peace of mind/well-being.  Your brain actually creates and releases chemicals as you talk to people. Chemicals that won't fire if you only talk to people offline. Part of the experience of talking to real people offline is you get better at reading body language, decoding online conversations better, and of course the chemical rewards of conversating. At one time I had become so hermatized that I even found it hard to meet new people when I did go out.

I remedied this problem by signing up to "" a site that allows you to either join a group of people in a task (hiking, going out to new restaurants, yoga, writing groups, etc...) or you can create your own group (for 15.00 a month last I heard) and invite people. If your group concept is compelling, you will find like minded people joining. This can be a lot of fun as there are lots of groups and a nice variety of "outings" scheduled. Some people use these to throw parties to meet people in town.


6. Get some pets to raise your responsibility levels. One reason I often didn't get up from my desk was I simply had nothing really to make me do it. I've since adopted 3 cats, 30 goldfish, an underwater salamander called an Axolotl, a hamster, and lots of plants. These all require consistent daily attention- It gets me up (playing with the cats, feeding them etc...) and caring for the fish and plants. It's meditative as well.


7. Take walks when you need inspiration. I find walking at night to be the best way to get ideas because in the darkness most of the details around your neighborhood are hidden leaving you with less to think about and refreshing your think cap. It's good exercise too!


8. Look up smart drugs and nutraceuticals (same thing basically). There are some amazing brain boosters out there that not only help repair the body in various ways, they can make you feel amazing. I will only suggest two I use that are pretty amazing.

a.) Piracetam

b.) Noopept

Piracetam is a derivative of the Gaba molecule a naturally occurring brain neurotransmitter. Ironically, Gaba often is about calming your brain cells down, but this derivative actually wakes them up!

Noopept is Piracetam to the 1000th degree. Piracetam you have to take a lot and the brain tends to get used to it, but Noopept you take Much less and it's a thousand times more powerful (cognitive, neuroprotection, even helps with headaches and especially anxiety).

I won't get into these too far as I plan to build articles about them (when I do I'll try to get back here to link you to them) but I would suggest if your brain is not working like it's supposed to, these can help bring back your brain health as well as boost cognition noticeably. (there is also no crash as with coffee).


9. Learn all you can about water and what it does in the body. For me this was enough to powerfully motivate me to want to drink water. Often we have unjustified beliefs about water. Learning all you can will help you with your decision to drink water.


10. I discovered so much about nutrition and the body while researching how to fix my broken body that it really pushed me to realize that most prepared foods are not only bad for you, they tend to stay in the body for days wearing out your energy or worse blocking progress. I found that eating fresh vegetables (not canned or processed in any way) is like eating pure energy incarnate. Fruits and vegetables not only give your body the building blocks it needs, it lubricates the process of creating energy.

I change it up but basically I prepare  snack trays with (uncooked) carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery with peanut butter, and a variety of fruits (pears, apples, peaches, etc...). I'll snack on them all day as I work and eat the normal 3 meals a day. Eating fruits and vegetables all day gives your body an amazing potential, it keeps your metabolism high so when you do have to eat that processed food your body is ready for the punishment and can better deal with it.

If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear it in comments (as would my readers!).



So there you have it. You will be surprised how well this system works. It's very powerful and although seems simple it's accumulative effects are staggering. I wish you luck!


Updated: 06/18/2012, Jerrico_Usher
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