The move to home working may increase the prevalence of ill health and obesity if workers spend more time sitting, so it’s essential employers encourage staff to exercise more, says Dr RS Bridger PhD.

The UK government’s new strategy to tackle obesity was announced recently in response to findings that being overweight increases the risk from Covid-191. There’s nothing new about these sorts of initiative, nor about the obesity “epidemic” itself. Since 1975, in English speaking countries, mean body mass index (BMI) has increased in men by about 1kg/m2 per decade, and slightly more in women, although there is evidence that the trend pre-dates the 1970s by about 15–20 years2. According to the government strategy, “Overconsumption of calories is one of the most significant contributing factors in becoming overweight.”

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