You miss it now it’s gone
It probably seemed like a drag at the time, but those long walks to the bus stop or the train station as you made your way to work were really important in terms of physical wellbeing.
Who would have thought our body would be longing for trudges through the rain, often up hill, as we made our way to the office each day?
But exercise routines – even the informal ones – have been a casualty of lockdown as people revamped their homes into workplaces.
Troubling survey scores
According to one recent survey of UK workers, 46 per cent said they got less exercise since transitioning from the office to the home.
And a troubling 39 per cent said they’d developed musculo-skeletal problems, probably because their set-up at home was less comfortable and safe as the one they had previously in the office.
Of course exercise always has and always will be a matter of personal responsibility.
There are many things you can force yourself to do during the course of the day, like insisting on taking a full and active lunch break, walking up and down stairs during short intervals, and even taking a stroll during lengthy planned conference calls.
But it’s in the interests of the employer to encourage this.
Your employer has a part to play
That same survey found only a third of employees had been offered emotional support as part of the move to home working.
More than a quarter of staff were working from a sofa or a bedroom.
It’s clear businesses need to do more to address that.
It is their duty to provide you with an adequate space and equipment to work from, and they really ought to build in time for activity too.
And why wouldn’t they?
Every good employer knows it’s far better to have a fit and healthy staff member than one who’s struggling with either physical or mental problems.
Even if it’s not something that’s written into a contract, a company can still deliberately build time into a worker’s day to ensure they have the option for physical exercise.
Some forward-thinking businesses even subsequently encouraged staff to share their exercising experience in this new normal in the hope of boosting morale and camaraderie.
As a home-worker, you may not miss peering out the window each morning in trepidation at the windswept trek that lay ahead of you.
But without some replacement habits, your body and mind almost certainly will.
Source: The Royal Society for Public Health
34% - workers who were offered mental health support from their employer
26% - people working from a sofa or bedroom
46% - people who reported doing less exercise as a result of home-working
39% - people reporting Musculo-skeletal problems as a result
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