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Does Working From Home Make You Obese

Does Working From Home Make You Obese

In recent years, working from home (WFH) has gained immense popularity as technology, particularly high-speed internet connectivity, has made it effortless to collaborate with colleagues and accomplish tasks from the comfort of our own homes. This shift in work culture had already begun to reshape the way we view traditional offices, but the global pandemic accelerated this transformation significantly.

Does Working From Home Make You Obese

The COVID-19 pandemic played a pivotal role in normalising remote work, with employers and employees alike adapting to the necessity of social distancing measures. This shift wasn’t merely a convenient option; for many, it was a requirement to ensure safety. As a result, remote working quickly became the norm, and it seems like it is here to stay even as the pandemic subsides.

However, there are concerns about the impact of WFH on physical health, particularly when it comes to weight gain. The newfound convenience of remote working comes with potential downsides, and one of the most significant is the risk of obesity.

The home office setup often means being in close proximity to the kitchen, leading to increased accessibility to snacks and meals throughout the workday. Without the physical separation between work and home, it’s easier to indulge in unhealthy eating habits. Additionally, the lack of a daily commute means less physical activity, and without the social interactions that an office environment provides, the sedentary lifestyle can become even more pronounced.

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Despite the convenience and flexibility of working from home, it’s essential for individuals to be mindful of their health. Balancing the benefits of remote work with a commitment to healthy eating and regular exercise is crucial in preventing potential weight gain. So, while working from home doesn’t necessarily make you obese, it does present unique challenges that need to be addressed to maintain a healthy lifestyle in this new work paradigm.

Covid to Blame

The weight gain of those WFH is due to several different factors. Firstly, many are tending to snack more frequently. Also, they are spending an increased amount of time sitting down and with no daily commute to add into the mix. They often don’t allocate a specific time to enjoy a proper meal, or they may not be as mindful of their snacking habits. Saying no to a piece of birthday cake at the office was hard enough, but having your fridge stocked with your chosen snacks two steps from where you are sitting requires a new level of self-control.

Additionally, working from home can also decrease social interactions, which can lead to feelings of isolation, loneliness or even depression. It is well documented that those suffering from even mild levels of depression and loneliness experience an elevated level of cravings for energy-dense, carbohydrate-laden foods.

Does Working From Home Make You Obese

Another potential health risk associated with working from home is an increase in stress levels. When you’re at work, you have a set schedule and know which tasks need to be completed by what time. But when you’re working from home, it can be easy to get side-tracked, resulting in you ending up working longer hours than you intended. This can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed and increased stress levels.

WFH The Devil in Disguise

Whilst WFH has its advantages, efforts must be made in order to mitigate the negative effects and ensure that those who are working from home stay healthy and happy. As we have said, while there are plenty of advantages to WFH, it seems there’s one major downside: it’s making people fat. With a global obesity pandemic already existing, it is important that all possible actions are taken to ensure we do not make a bad situation even worse.

A recent article in the Daily Telegraph written by Laura Donnelly interestingly confirmed that Women were, in fact, much more likely than men to pile weight on during lockdown with “emotional eating” while stuck at home, research has shown. Scientists said the pandemic hit the sexes differently, with women’s diets deteriorating as they bore the brunt of “stressful” home-schooling.

14 per cent gained weight during the Pandemic

Does Working From Home Make You Obese

Men suffered less disruptions in routine even though many worked from home, researchers said. Leicester University researchers analysed data on 938,000 adults to examine the impact of changes in Britain’s Social Habits since the first lockdown. Overall, the pandemic led to 14 per cent of people at a healthy weight becoming overweight or obese. Researchers found weight gain affected women and younger people far more than the rest of the population. Read the full Daily Telegraph article here.

As we said earlier, working from home tends to decrease social interaction. People may miss out on the water cooler chat or the afternoon coffee break with co-workers. This lack of social interaction can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which will often result in overeating.

Our own small-scale research confirmed the connection between working from home and weight gain but introduced an additional problem. That is Alcohol; there appears to be a developing increase in the general level of alcohol consumption: “Wine o’clock” is now becoming an almost daily experience for many people, marking the end of the ‘work day’ for those WFH. It was noted that this is no longer reserved just for the weekends.

Does Working From Home Make You Obese

Many people we questioned confirmed that they had taken out their Gym membership when they commenced WFH, but just like the 1st January New Year’s resolutions, it had taken second place to watching HBO or Netflix.

Does Working From Home Make You Obese

Snacking, increased alcohol consumption, and a sedentary lifestyle, along with less social interaction, are all contributors to weight gain. Therefore, it is important for people who work from home to be aware of these dangers and to ensure they take steps to avoid them.

During our own research, one factor that continued to be mentioned, especially amongst women, related to clothes. Many told us how they missed getting ready for work and wearing their best outfits; a number told us that as they were no longer wearing ‘fitted clothes’, they had noticed a small but continual weight gain as their clothes became ever tighter.

Does Working From Home Make You Obese

Another unrelated aspect of the WFH situation is the effect it is having on a number of town centre hospitality venues. In London, the ‘footfall’ in certain areas has dropped dramatically, forcing some establishments to close with others expected to follow.

When you spend your days working from the comfort of your own home, weight gain will, for many, become a common concern. This can be even more of a challenge when there are tempting treats and unhealthy snacks within easy reach. However, with a few simple strategies, it is possible to stay healthy and avoid weight gain while working remotely. To help avoid weight gain while working from home, here are a few tips that can make all the difference:

Does Working From Home Make You Obese

First, it is important to stay active and keep moving throughout the day. A good start is to create a structured schedule that includes regular breaks for exercise or taking a short walk, maybe with the dog, which may be just for ten minutes. This will help you to remain active throughout the day, both mentally and physically. Scheduling lunchtime fitness classes is another possible way to help burn calories and keep your weight in check.

Does Working From Home Make You Obese

Second, it is important to set firm boundaries around food and snacks. For example, you might decide not to keep any sugary treats in your workspace so that you’re less tempted by junk food. When it comes to snacking, “out of sight, out of mind” is the key! You could also aim only to allow yourself a certain number of “treat” meals per week. In addition, be sure to stock up on plenty of healthy foods and snacks that will help keep your energy levels up without loading you down with extra calories.

Does Working From Home Make You Obese

Ensure that you consume the required two litres plus of water per day; not only is it essential to keep you hydrated, but it will also help to fend off feelings of hunger. Also, you should absolutely NOT start to wear loose-fitting clothes; they are just too easy to fill up. It may happen slowly, but it will happen. One of the people we talked to told us that two days a week, regardless of what she was doing, she forced herself to dress in her normal work attire. She said it was like her insurance against putting on weight.

Ultimately, managing weight is about making healthy choices a priority every day so you can maintain a healthy routine, even when living a life as a remote worker! By incorporating these simple tips into your routine, you can better maintain weight-loss goals and avoid weight gain altogether. Does Working From Home Make You Obese?

If you do choose to work from home, it’s important to make sure that you take care of both your physical and mental health. Make sure you’re getting enough exercise and social interaction, and be sure to set aside time for yourself so you can unplug from work when you need a break.

Does Working From Home Make You Obese


To mitigate the potential negative effects on personal social interaction, individuals working from home should actively seek ways to stay connected. This may involve organising virtual coffee breaks with colleagues, participating in online team-building activities, and making an effort to maintain connections with friends and family outside of work.

Furthermore, organisations can play a crucial role in supporting employees’ social well-being by fostering a culture that values both professional and personal connections. Encouraging virtual team-building initiatives and providing resources for mental health support can help address the challenges of social isolation in the remote work environment.

Does Working From Home Make You Obese

FAQ 1: Does working from home contribute to weight gain?

Answer: Yes, working from home can indeed increase the risk of weight gain. Several factors contribute to this. The proximity to the kitchen in a home office setup can make it easier to access snacks and meals throughout the workday. Moreover, without the physical separation between the workspace and home, it becomes easier to indulge in unhealthy eating habits. The absence of a daily commute also means less physical activity. In addition, the lack of social interactions that an office environment provides can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle.

FAQ 2: How do those working from home’s clothing choices impact their weight?

Answer: The connection between those WFH clothing choices and weight is a noteworthy one. Many individuals, especially among women, have reported gradual weight gain. This often correlates with the shift to more comfortable, less fitted clothing while working from home. As remote work extends, people may notice their clothes becoming tighter over time, which can be an early sign of weight gain.

FAQ 3: How has working from home affected town centre hospitality venues?

Answer: Working from home has brought significant changes to the landscape of town centre businesses. In various urban areas, there has been a noticeable decrease in foot traffic or “footfall” in specific regions. This drop in physical presence has, unfortunately, led to the closure of certain hospitality establishments, and others are expected to follow suit. The reduced presence of office workers and commuters has a direct impact on these businesses’ livelihoods.

FAQ 4: What strategies can help those working from home avoid weight gain?

Answer: To prevent weight gain while working from home, it is essential to adopt a few key strategies. Firstly, maintaining regular physical activity is crucial. Create a structured daily schedule that incorporates short breaks for exercise, such as a quick walk, which can be as short as ten minutes. Additionally, consider scheduling lunchtime fitness classes to help burn calories and keep your weight in check.

FAQ 5: How can home workers incorporate exercise into their daily routine?

Answer: Incorporating exercise into the daily routine of home workers is vital for overall health and weight management. One way to do this is by scheduling short breaks throughout the day for physical activity, even if it’s just a brief walk. It can also be beneficial to explore the option of participating in online fitness classes during lunchtime or other convenient times to maintain physical fitness and reduce the risks of weight gain.

FAQ 6: What is the role of setting boundaries around food and snacks in weight management?

Answer: Setting boundaries around food and snacks is an essential aspect of weight management. By establishing limits, you can prevent overindulgence in unhealthy foods. The principle of “out of sight, out of mind” can be an effective strategy to reduce temptation and promote healthier eating habits. This approach helps control calorie intake and supports weight management efforts.

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Martin and Marion Shirran

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We were proud to be nominated for the ‘Most Innovative Obesity Psychological Therapy Service’ in the UK Mental Health Awards 2022.

Mental Health Awards 2022 "Most Innovative Obesity Psychological Therapy Service"

We also appeared on the This Morning TV show with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.

Holly and Phil interviewed Martin and Marion Shirran

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Good Morning America

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Martin and Marion Shirran
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Watch the short animated ‘Want and Need Video’ below…

Click on the link below to listen to our short audio introduction to the weight-loss course.

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My Weigh Less®/ and all associated intellectual property rights are the property of Oxford Therapeutics Limited, a company registered in London.

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You can read additional information about us and our weight-loss treatment on the Gastric Mind Band website.

Although the weight-loss results and success stories shown on the site are typical, individual results will vary and are not guaranteed. Weight-loss success depends on each individual’s level of motivation, commitment, food intake and metabolism. Read our full disclaimer in the Terms & Conditions.

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