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Working From Home May Negatively Impact Physical, Mental Health

Majority of at-home workers report new physical and mental health issues

a man stressed in front of the computer

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- People working from home during the pandemic overall report decreased physical and mental well-being, according to a study published online Nov. 23 in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Yijing Xiao, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues surveyed 988 people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic (April 24 to June 11) to assess the impacts on well-being.

The researchers found that working from home was associated with decreased overall physical and mental well-being. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (64.8 percent) reported one or more new physical health issues, while three-quarters (73.6 percent) experienced a new mental health issue. Female workers with an annual salary of less than $100,000 were more likely to report two or more new physical and mental health issues compared with male workers and workers with higher incomes. Working from home was associated with less physical exercise and higher food intake.

"Increased satisfaction with the environmental quality factors in your workspace, such as lighting, temperature, is associated with a lower chance of having new health issues," a coauthor said in a statement.

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