With many white collared workers slowly returning to the office it’s fair to say some are more excited than others. Scientists are now saying that returning to the office comes with its own health benefits.
For more than a year, your trip into work may have amounted to little more than a bleared-eyed stumble downstairs to your living room table. But scientists that a return to a proper commute-involving walking, sunshine and fresh air- can do wonders for our health.
A daily commute forces us to use our legs, in contrast to moving about in our own homes whilst working. Getting out of the house and going somewhere, even if it’s driving or by public transport, means you are actually walking around and being less sedentary, which is incredibly heathy. Getting outside also exposes us to sunshine and vitamin D, boosting the strength of the bones, teeth, and muscles; and strengthening our immune systems, ,making us less vulnerable to infections.
Even once we’ve arrived at the office and switched on our computer, we still tend to move around more than we would while working from home. Daily exercise is boosted by activities as simple as scrolling over to a colleagues desk to chat. Walking to the tea station also means less time in your chair, which improves posture, making back and neck pains less likely. At the office, you’ll also have the option of a more ergonomic chair- a blessing from home- workers who’s spent a lot the months encased in a poorly crafted living room chair, or slumped on a sofa or a bed. No wonder there has been an explosion in back pain during lockdown.
We tend to think life’s big relationships- with children, husbands, wives- that are most important for our mental health. But, in recent years, psychologists have shed light on the power of small, casual connections. Think of the colleague at the next desk you might talk to about football or the weather; While we often associate the office with stress, the loneliness and isolation of home working means that returning to office might actually make us less stressed, according to doctors. And lower stress means stronger immune systems, too.