working from home

A study of hybrid workers shows they consume significantly more calories and take fewer steps on remote working days
The in-depth study of 2,000 hybrid workers, found home workers consume an average of 2,752 calories at home, as opposed to 1,961 in a typical office day – a difference of 791 calories.
Overall, 60 percent insist they are unhealthier on work-from-home days than when in the office, with processed junk foods, such as crisps (61 percent), biscuits (60 percent), chocolate (54 percent) and sweets (39 percent) the most common snacks.
More than half (56 percent) cited fewer temptations as the main reason they are healthier on office working days.
While 28 percent said there are healthier lunch options near their place of work – and 36 percent were encouraged to be healthy by having other people around them.
When comparing activity levels at home and at work, respondents were asked to use their Fitbit, phone, or Apple Watch to calculate their daily steps, with 4,518 emerging as the average number taken on a “work from home” day – under half the number of daily steps recommended by health experts.
In comparison, Brits walk 8,087 steps on an average “work from the office” day.
While almost half (45 percent) said they often don’t leave the house at all when working from home.
The study by MyFitnessPal found that on work from home days, survey respondents claim to consume five between-meal snacks, as opposed to three when we’re working from the office.
And on average, Brits look in the fridge or cupboard out of sheer boredom six times a day, and 36 percent admit to eating when they are not hungry.
Almost one in three (30 percent) do not get dressed until lunchtime, while 14 percent often find themselves ordering lunch from delivery apps.
“Working from home can lend itself to a cosy working environment, but it may lack structure and routine. This can make it easy to indulge in the comforts of home and reach for snacks you may not have in an office setting,” says Brookell White, MS, RDN and MyFitnessPal in-house registered dietitian.
“If you’re concerned about your nutritional intake or overconsumption, tracking your meals and snacks can help you understand the favourable nutrients you are consuming, and the other nutrients you may be consuming too much of.”
To support Brits on working from home days, MyFitnessPal shares healthy swaps for our favourite treats and tips for making working from home, more like a day at the office.
MyFitnessPal Registered Dietician, Brookell White, lists some simple ways to make work from home days, more like a day at the office.
1. Change the way you treat yourself – Balanced treats will fuel your body for longer so focus on snacks that include healthy fats and protein to help you feel more satisfied and sustain your energy – leaving less room for sugar, saturated fats, sodium and excess calories which can be found in more processed treats.
Try these healthy snack and treats:
• A handful of lightly sweetened nuts
• An apple with a slice of cheese
• 2-3 dark chocolate covered strawberries
• A handful of baked kale chips
• 2 celery sticks with nut butter and dark chocolate chips sprinkled on top
2. Pick an exercise that you enjoy! Don’t like HIIT workouts? Just don’t do them. The key to making exercise a regular part of your week is to find something you enjoy and can easily fit into your routine. Try going for a run / walk before and after work – almost as if you were getting to and from the office. You’re getting exercise and tricking your brain!
3. Take intermittent breaks throughout your workday. Sitting in front of a computer all day long isn’t good for you. Even individuals who exercise daily but sit for long periods can have increased risk of various diseases and even a shortened lifespan. But just a small amount of regular, intentional movement can help eliminate risks to your health. Try walking around the neighbourhood, doing yoga, or simply doing squats or lunges hourly.
4. Find a sense of community! If you find that working from home can be isolating, try a class or find a workout buddy in your community. Finding a community based around health can be great for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It can also make change easier to sustain!5. Find motivation and routine. What about a race, reward, competition, or tracking your progress?
5. Find something that motivates you and keeps you excited about a new health endeavour. It’s also good to note that routine and consistency helps to keep you going if your motivation loses momentum. Find a time of day that works best for your individual schedule and identify and eliminate obstacles to sticking with that exercise.
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