More alcohol, less healthy food and poor sleep for people working at home

People forced to work from home because of the coronavirus crisis are drinking more alcohol, eating less healthier food and having problems sleeping, a new study suggests.

By Alan Jones, PA
Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 9:52 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 10:31 am

A survey of 500 workers by the Institute of Employment Rights (IER) also revealed a significant increase in musculoskeletal complaints.

More than half of those polled reported new aches and pains, especially in the neck, shoulder and back, compared with their normal physical condition.

Diet and exercise are on the wane, with one fifth of respondents admitting to an increase in alcohol consumption, while a third said they were eating a less healthy diet and more than half acknowledging that they are exercising less.

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More people are working at home

Poor sleep and increased risk of exhaustion are also a cause for concern, said the report.

Most respondents reported a loss of sleep due to worry and corresponding increased symptoms of fatigue.

Half said they are working long and irregular hours and are not happy with their current work-life balance.

One in three said they frequently feel isolated and more than a fifth are worried about job security.

Stephen Bevan, of the IES, said: "These interim findings paint a picture of a new homeworking workforce that faces significant physical and mental well-being challenges.

"Employers need to recognise they are still responsible for the well-being of their staff, even when working from home, and there are a number of steps they can take to improve employee well-being."

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