Infectious Diseases

Coronavirus Outbreak in China Forces People to Stay Indoors – In Turn Creating World’s Largest Work-From-Home Experiment

Posted on 3 February 2020

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Commuting to work is it daily nightmarish chore for most people around the world. Not only does it cause stress, but it has severe health impacts over the long term. Most people living in big cities take public transport to work which exposes them to lots of germs from all over the world. Additionally, extended periods of sitting in buses or trains or cars can cause you to have backaches, and all this traveling cuts into your time to exercise, as well.

Passengers wear protective masks as they ride the subway train in Shanghai on Jan. 30. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Recently there has been a severe coronavirus outbreak in China, and to avoid further spreading the disease The Chinese government has recommended that people stay at home. Bloomberg reports that this has created the world’s largest work from home experiment.

The cohorts working from home are about to grow into armies. At the moment, most people in China are still on vacation for the Lunar New Year. But as Chinese companies begin to restart operations, it’s likely to usher in the world’s largest work-from-home experiment.

Bloomberg – Coronavirus Forces World’s Largest Work-From-Home Experiment (2020). Retrieved 3 February 2020, from

With factories shuttered and office workers staying home, many in China’s services industry face a difficult time. The sector is much bigger than it was during the SARS outbreak, accounting for 53% of the economy, up from 41% in 2002. But without customers, many businesses are in limbo.

Bloomberg – Coronavirus Forces World’s Largest Work-From-Home Experiment (2020). Retrieved 3 February 2020, from

It is terrible that China is suffering from this viral outbreak, but we hope that this unintended consequence of people not having to commute to work can highlight the impact of commuting on health, wellbeing, and longevity.


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