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Homeworkers move around more and are more relaxed


“To me, the fact that homeworkers were more relaxed was surprising,” says Linda Widar, researcher in remote working and health at University of Gävle.


In a recent study, researchers in Gävle measured movement patterns with activity meters and studied stress/recovery in 23 people by using heart rate monitors and cortisol samples; the researchers then compared results from days when the participants worked remotely to days in the office.

The results show that when working from home, participants moved around more and were more relaxed during the working day compared to days when they worked from their regular workplace. Factors that are known to affect stress, like, for example, children at home or commuting time had no impact here, nor had difference in tasks between the two places. Yet another finding was that men were generally more relaxed than women, regardless of where they worked.

Linda Widar

Linda Widar

“Above all, the measurements show that homeworkers switch more between sitting and standing; they get up and take more breaks from just sitting. A subsequent interview study also shows that homeworkers claim to have better opportunities for going outdoors and move around than when they are at the office.”

This is a clear advantage, according to the researchers, as prolonged sitting can cause pain and health problems of various kinds.

“At the end of last year, 30 percent worked from home to some extent, and Linda Widar underlines that employees’ tendencies to adopt health-promoting behavior when working remotely are valuable to be aware of for employers who want to offer employees the opportunity to work remotely.

“When working remotely, we both move around more and are more relaxed, and these are conditions which simply promote good health,” Linda Widar says.


Linda Widar, doctoral student in occupational health at University of Gävle
Phone: 072-856 02 72
E-mail: linda.widar@hig.se

Text: Douglas Öhrbom
Photo: TT
Photo Linda Widar: Privat

Published by: Douglas Öhrbom Page responsible: Anders Munck Updated: 2021-10-04
Högskolan i Gävle
Box 801 76 GÄVLE
026-64 85 00 (växel)