The Impact of "Home Office" Work on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Sep 28;19(19):12344. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191912344.


In 2020, as part of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world enacted a wide variety of regulations and laws to contain the incidence of infection. One of these measures was the relocation of work to the home office. The objective of this review was to analyze the influence of the home office in correlation with regulations on sedentary and activity behavior. A search was conducted on various electronic databases from November 2019 to January 2022, using the search terms physical activity (PA), COVID-19, and working from home. The primary outcomes were changes in PA and sedentary behavior (SB). Secondary outcomes included pain, mood, and parenting stress. The risk of bias was assessed using the (NHLBI) Quality Assessment Tool. For the review, 21 articles met the inclusion criteria (total n = 1268). There was a significant increase in SB (+16%) and a decrease in PA (-17%), Light PA (-26%), and moderate to vigorous PA (-20%). There was also an increase in pain and parenting stress and a decrease in well-being. Due to our significant results, programs that promote movement should be created. Future studies should explore how an increase of PA and a reduction of SB in the home office could be achieved.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; home office; lockdown; physical activity; sedentary behavior; work-from-home.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Pain
  • Pandemics
  • Sedentary Behavior*

Grants and funding

The authors received partial financial support for the article publication from the University of Hamburg and the Bundeswehrkrankenhaus Hamburg.