Lockdown a heart health risk

Queenslanders working from home not meeting heart health guidelines.

A hidden health impact from working at home has been revealed by a Heart Foundation study.

The study found 40% of people working from home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic were walking less than normal.

Heart Foundation Group CEO Adjunct Professor John Kelly said walking was one of the easiest ways to stay active during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Regular walking is one of the best choices to reduce your risk of heart disease, lower stress and build a healthier body,” Prof. Kelly said.

“With many people now working from home or self-isolating, this can lead to more hours spent sitting in front of screens, in video meetings, or on the couch, and less time moving during the day.”

Heart health fact box

Prof. Kelly said working from home shouldn’t mean putting healthy habit on pause.

“With many people now working from home or self-isolating, this can lead to more hours spent sitting in front of screens, in video meetings, or on the couch, and less time moving during the day,” he said.

“It’s still important to keep up your steps and find ways to fit walking into your new routine – it’s free, suitable for all ages and fitness levels, and can be done almost anywhere.”

Before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic just 15% of Australians met physical activity guidelines.

Prof. Kelly said adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (the equivalent of a brisk walk) each day.

“You can reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 35% simply by walking 30 minutes a day, so making small, positive changes during this pandemic and beyond can bring big health benefits,” he said.