Life as we know it has been turned on its head, throwing everyone into a bit of a spin – naturally, routines haven’t been the same.
However, employees are being notified of the health risks that come with self-isolation and working from home. It turns out, staying chained to your desk, poses more risks than you would think.
A Heart Foundation Survey on how the lockdown has changed Australian’s walking habits shows 4 in 10 (40%) of people now working from home are walking less than usual. This represents a larger group than those workers squeezing in more steps since setting up a home office (34%).
The poll which involved almost 300 Australians in April indicates about 30% are walking more than they normally would since COVID-19 restrictions came into effect, yet 25% are walking less.
These results have prompted the Heart Foundation to urge everyone to keep moving for the sake of their heart health.
“Regular walking is one of the best choices to reduce your risk of heart disease, lower stress and build a healthier body,” says Heart Foundation Group CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly.
“While it’s heartening to see close to one third of Australians are walking more, it’s equally concerning that many say they are now walking less.
“With many people now working from home or self-isolating, this can lead to more hours spent sitting in front of screens, in video meetings, or on the couch, and less time moving during the day.”
Professor Kelly emphasises that just because there are shutdowns, does not mean your health should shut down as well.
As a guide, adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (the equivalent of a brisk walk) each day.
“You can reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 35% simply by walking 30 minutes a day, so making small, positive changes during this pandemic and beyond can bring big health benefits,” explains Professor Kelly.