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Cancer warning for Australians working from home during the pandemic

Health experts are concerned that the rise in working from home during the coronavirus pandemic could lead to a spike in cancer diagnoses.

That’s because a new survey has found that people who worked at least one day a week from home were more likely to be exercising less, eating more and adopting an unhealthy diet.

The research, commissioned by the Cancer Institute NSW, also found that 61 per cent of people said they had increased their time spent sedentary, meaning the time sitting or lying down while awake, since working from home.

NSW Chief Cancer Officer Professor David Currow, said the survey serves as a reminder of how your diet and lack of exercise can impact your risk of cancer.

“Many people are unaware that greater amounts of time sitting down can increase your risk of a number of illnesses, including cancer,” he explained.

“Even among people who exercise, if the rest of their time is sedentary, their risk will increase.”

“In the era of video conferencing from home rather than commuting and moving to meetings, we need to make sure we are getting the opportunity to stand up and move about regularly.”

Professor Currow said it was important people are aware of the cancer risk factors they can control to encourage so they can make positive changes.

“Clearly physical activity, a healthy diet, reducing our alcohol intake and quitting smoking are key things that each of us can do,” he said.