Daily steps have dropped since COVID-19, especially among the younger population, concludes a March 2023 study published in JAMA.
Overall, participants are taking 600 fewer daily steps post-COVID-19. The study tracked daily steps for over 5,000 participants who wore a Fitbit for at least ten hours a day over multiple years. Interestingly, younger people between 18 and 30 had the most significant step drop, and participants 60+ had little change in steps. For every ten-year decline in age, daily steps decreased by 243, meaning a 30-year participant had a 700 to 800 drop in daily steps.
The rise in working from home may be the culprit. A 600 drop in daily steps is easily the difference between walking from the parking lot to an office and staying home. As a large percentage of 60+ participants are retired, their daily steps will not be as affected as the younger working population.
There are many benefits to working at home, but a drop in daily steps is a drawback. Less commuting or ambulating around an office and from meetings are hidden sources of daily activity absent in work from home environment. Are there ways to duplicate this activity from home? Video meetings are commonly back-to-back. A 5-minute break between meetings would allow you to stretch your legs. Meetings where you are not an active participant, could be taken while walking. Standup desks [link] or treadmill desks will keep you on your feet and moving around. You can get your daily steps back with some creativity and a clear target.
How will you get your steps back in?