Movement, Posture, Ergonomics, Mindset, Nutrition

Weight gain when working from home

Research prior to the pandemic showed that small changes in body weight over a short period of time can often become permanent and lead to substantial weight gain over time.  It's been over a year now and some sources estimate that as many as 80% of adults are now working from home, not to mention children who are trying to do school online.  While this pandemic has not been a holiday or vacation for most of us, the similarities can be compared to weight gain occurrences that happen when we deviate from normal routines and eating habits. Here's a few facts to consider: 

  1. While our bodies are pretty resilient and short term binges (i.e. one meal or weekend ) of high calorie foods are usually managed by the body, significant fat gain CAN occur over a relatively short period of time (i.e. 1-2 weeks)
  2. Individuals who are already overweight or obese are at a greater risk 
  3. regular exercises are not exempt; if the balance is tipped on the side of calorie intake vs. output, weight gain is the result
  4. Women are at a greater risk for keeping the weight on if it is gained over a short period of time
  5. Changes in eating behaviour are usually the cause of weight gain


Other challenges that contribute to poor food choices and changing eating habits include: 

  • limited ability to participate in organized sport or activities
  • closure or fear of attending gyms and public recreational facilities
  • closure of stores and shift to online shopping vs. in person retail (walking through big box stores, browsing malls)
  • inability to eat in restaurants, and the rise of purchasing packaged convenience foods 
  • lack of knowledge or skill to cook a healthy or tasty meal (more take out)
  • stress
  • eating for boredom
  • more sedentary behaviours

A few tips to help combat this:

 Want to get moving?  Check out many of my free 30 minute interval and core training workouts in my 5 day free fit challenge group! 



  1. COVID‐19–Related Home Confinement in Adults: Weight Gain Risks and Opportunities; Surabhi BHutani, Jamie A. Cooper; Journal of Obesity, September 2020, 
  2. Stevenson JLKrishnan SStoner MAGoktas ZCooper JAEffects of exercise during the holiday season on changes in body weight, body composition and blood pressureEur J Clin Nutr 2013;67:944949
  3. Kaviani SvanDellen MCooper JADaily self‐weighing to prevent holiday‐associated weight gain in adultsObesity (Silver Spring) 2019;27:908916.
  4. Cook CMSubar AFTroiano RPSchoeller DARelation between holiday weight gain and total energy expenditure among 40‐ to 69‐y‐old men and women (OPEN study)Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:726731.



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