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Postpandemic hybrid work: opportunities and challenges for physical activity and public health
  1. Nicholas Gilson1,
  2. P Coenen2,
  3. David Hallman3,
  4. Andreas Holtermann4,
  5. Svend Erik Mathiassen3,
  6. Leon Straker5
  1. 1 School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2 Department of Public and Occupational Health, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3 Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational Health Sciences and Psychology, The University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden
  4. 4 National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark
  5. 5 School of Allied Health and enAble Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nicholas Gilson, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; n.gilson1{at}

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Hybrid work, typically considered to combine work from the traditional office and at home, is not a new phenomenon. In the decade before COVID-19 use of this work model was relatively rare—around 15% of workers in the USA—despite the technology being available to enable remote work.1 However, the pandemic instigated changes whereby hybrid work is now modus operandi for many. In Australia, there was around a twofold increase in people working from home one or two times a week in April 2022 (46%), compared with before COVID-19 restrictions in March 2020 (24%).2 Even as restrictions ease, work from home is likely to stay as part of a ‘new normal’ hybrid work paradigm that combines days away from home at the office, with other days working from the office at home.

Opportunities to improve physical activity in hybrid workers

The large-scale uptake of hybrid work presents new challenges, but also opportunities for promoting physical activity (PA) and health in workers. Hybrid work could enhance PA opportunities for workers by providing flexibility to integrate occupational (moving breaks while otherwise sitting), leisure (gym classes), lifestyle (walking) and incidental (housework) activities into 24-hour daily routines. …

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  • Contributors All authors were involved in the conception and planning of the editorial. NG was responsible for initial writing and drafting, which was reviewed and edited by all authors, who approved the final version prior to submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.