Insights on physical behavior while working from home: An ecological momentary assessment study

Svenja Sers*, Irina Timm, Elisabeth A. de Vries, Hagen Wäsche, Alexander Woll, Oliver Bender, Marco Giurgiu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home (WFH) has emerged as a common alternative work environment, but the possible influence on daily physical behavior (PB) (i.e., physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior (SB)) remains unclear. This study aimed to examine daily associations between PB and the work environment (i.e., WFH, working at the office (WAO)), as well as to explore and identify patterns of PB within each work environment. An observational study using a dual-accelerometer system to continuously assess PB for at least 5 days was conducted. The sample consisted of 55 participants providing 276 days of assessment. Additional demographic, contextual, and psychological variables were measured via baseline questionnaire and several smartphone prompts per day. To analyze the effects of the work environment on PB, multilevel analyses were conducted. For the identification of patterns within each work environment, latent class trajectory modelling was applied. Associations between the work environment and various PA parameters were found, indicating that WFH has a negative effect on MVPA time, steps, and physical activity intensity (MET), but a positive effect on short PA bouts (≤5 min). No associations between the work environment and any SB parameter (i.e., SB time, SB breaks, SB bouts) were found. Latent class trajectory modelling revealed three MVPA patterns for days WFH, and two patterns for days WAO. Given the growing prevalence of WFH and the positive health effects associated with MVPA, daily-tailored solutions to enhance MPVA while WFH are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2273-2285
Number of pages13
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Issue number11
Early online date10 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank all participants contributing to the study. Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science In Sports published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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