Do you exercise more or less when you work from home?

A return to the office could be affecting your weekly exercise frequency – and it might even be good for you

Woman prepared for yoga class
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The pandemic completely transformed how people work over the last year and now as the world reopens, routines and habits will change...again. Some of you may still be working from home while others are heading back to the office, and logic dictates that the more time you have at home, the more time you have to exercise. 

However, a new study from RunRepeat (opens in new tab) says otherwise. According to the study, which polled almost 2,500 remote workers who have since gone back to the office, people are actually exercising more if they commute to work. Nearly 60% of non-exercisers have begun exercising two to three times per week now they are back in the office. 

It’s not clear why: perhaps going into work has you nearer to a gym, and it feels good to finally make use of your pair of best cross training shoes. Or it could just be down to re-establishing a regular routine, and exercise is a part of that.

Cycling to work

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The researchers also revealed that people who worked out up to twice a week have increased their exercise frequency by a huge 125.93%. Workers who exercised up to three times a week have increased how many times they exercise by 38.57%. It seems if you’re working out two to three times a week already, a regular office routine is a net positive. 

However, not everybody found the return to work had a positive effect on their exercise habits. In fact those who exercised more than four times a week while working remotely actually experienced a 14% decrease in exercise frequency. 

If you’re already slipping on some of the best running shoes for men or best running shoes for women, four or more times a week, going to work might disrupt your routine or hamper your progress a little. But a lot of the findings depend on what kind of job people work, how far they travel or the sociability of their hours. 

 The benefits of a cardio commute

Some people are able to find a gym near their office and fit more activity into the week than they may otherwise have been able to. However, if you don’t have a gym nearby, one easy way of getting in daily exercise despite office commitments is to cardio commute. 

A 2020 study published in The Lancet (opens in new tab) found a positive link between those who cycle to work and their risk of cardiovascular disease - they had a 24% reduced rate of dying from cardiovascular disease. 

Cycling to work with your laptop case might not appeal to you but walking to work or the train station is another great way of exercising on an office day. Find out 6 reasons why walking is a great workout

Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 


When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.