How to avoid the “Quarantine 15”

Snacks at computer

The costs of the COVID-19 pandemic can be measured in death, misery, and economic havoc. Even the fortunate individuals who can work from home risk a serious detriment to their wellness: the “Quarantine 15”. For the more than 70% of Americans who already are overweight or obese,[1] fifteen added pounds would further boost their Body Mass Index (BMI) concerns.

Where extra pounds come from

Working late at home

Adding one medium banana, or 4 ounces of wine, or 9 potato chips to daily caloric intake adds almost a pound per month.[2] So does fifteen fewer minutes of casual walking, indoors or outdoors. There’s no more rushing across the parking lot or to the next meeting. Other contributing factors happen before and after work. Gyms and recreational facilities have closed. Exercise is no longer a daily routine and now seems less convenient.

As the new normal leads us away from wellness best practices, stress propels us toward comfort food. As our mind replays recent headlines, we experience higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. That leads to food cravings, then to slowly accumulating weight gain.[3]

How they can be avoided

While the work-at-home lifestyle brings concerns, it also allows behaviors to not only avoid the 15 extra pounds but also create better long-term wellness habits.

  • Get creative with your routine

    What if you no longer had to get up at Dark:30, rush to the gym, merge into commuter traffic, power lunch, happy hour? What would you want to do with that time?

  • Find fitness in ways that are not routine

    Maybe you never took a pushup break while at work — that’s understandable! Maybe a cleaning crew took care of the vacuuming and wiping down breakroom counters. Now, at your new workplace, those can be your wellness activities.

  • Refuel to suit your taste

    As you plan lunch or dinner, your pantry is like a restaurant menu: what it has is what’s available to eat. As the executive chef of this restaurant, you choose the menu every time you grocery shop. Give yourself healthier menu selections by avoiding last-minute decisions. Your strategic choices can fill a pantry with tasty foods that also meet nutritional needs.[4]

  • Bring home the best

    People who eat at least 5 home-cooked meals per week are 28% less likely to have excess weight than those who dine at home fewer than 3 times per week. Dining at home, you can avoid the preservatives, emulsifiers, and creative chemistry that restaurants may serve up to you.

    Your strategic shopping choices can benefit the millions of microbes that house 70% of your immune system.[5] With the perhaps-unfortunate exclusion of brewed and distilled beverages, most fermented foods are probiotic. Enjoy some yogurt, but watch out for the sugar! Chill down a bottle of kefir or kombucha. Pile on the sauerkraut or pickles.

At ecoPreserve, we’re familiar with remote work, but this year’s pandemic has meant even fewer trips to the office. Despite that, we can report some notable successes in avoiding the “Quarantine 15”.

First, there’s Mary Jo Anderson, a Client Safety Coordinator. She has attended virtual meetings on the WW (formerly Weight Watchers) program, and after losing 35 pounds, has reached her goal. That makes her eligible to apply for a lifetime membership. 

Mary Jo - before

Mary Jo – before WW

Mary Jo - 6 months later

Mary Jo – 6 months later

Another team member, Marketing Manager George Pond, reports a 98-pound loss after more than a year of “Nooming”. That means daily lessons in the Noom app, journaling every meal, and stomping around his living room (4 miles daily). He no longer presents a threat to most furniture and is determined to reach his healthy goal weight by summer, 2021.

[4] — National Institutes of Health
[5] — Harvard Health Publishing

George Pond

George Pond

Marketing Manager at ecoPreserve, LLC
George Pond brings over 20 years of experience in technical writing, internet development, and social media marketing to ecoPreserve.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

Facility Condition Report

The report is prepared in accordance with the recommendations of ASTM E2018-15, Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments. This is a partial list of contents:

    • General condition of the building, grounds, and appurtenances
    • Physical deficiencies, their significance, and suggested remedies
    • Photographs
    • Safety issues observed
    • Potential operating efficiencies
    • Electricity and water use reductions
    • High-efficiency interior and exterior lighting
    • Recommended interior finishes
    • Construction costs

Risk Mitigation Improvements

  • IAQ
    • Airflow
    • Temperature and humidity
    • Vertical transportation (escalators and elevators)
    • Settings
    • Conditions
    • Capability
    • Filtration
    • Traffic patterns
    • Placement for social distancing
    • Clear barriers where social distancing is not possible

Interior Elements

  • Foundation
  • Building frame and roof
  • Structural elements
    • Floors, walls, ceilings
    • Access and egress
    • Vertical transportation (escalators and elevators)
  • HVAC equipment and ductwork
  • Utilities
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing
  • Safety and fire protection

Grounds and Appurtenances

  • Façades or curtainwall
  • Topography
  • Storm water drainage
  • Paving, curbing, and parking
  • Flatwork
  • Landscaping
  • Recreational facilities
Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

AWARE of CDC and NIH guidelines

The Baseline Property Condition Assessments described in ASTM E2018-15 do not specify consideration of infectious disease transmission concerns. In a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, that inspection and documentation is essential.

Buildings open to the public must comply with local regulations. For best results and greatest public acceptance, any planning for building repairs and maintenance should not overlook current CDC and NIH guidelines.

Optionally, ecoPreserve's can assist with a comprehensive GBAC STAR™ Accreditation which extends beyond the building to include the goals, actions, equipment, and supplies needed to implement best practices for outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.

An OPTIMIZED Assessment

Certified Sustainability Consultants on a facility assessment team can discover ways to lower energy costs. Their understanding of HVAC equipment suitability and condition along with the specifics of LED lighting retrofits can provide offsets for needed investments in upgrades and replacements.

Knowledge of water systems can bring further savings while averting water waste. It can all be part of an assessment which might otherwise overlook water fixtures and irrigation schedules.

How should a facility be ASSESSED?

A thorough facility assessment finds the issues - on the surface or below - which have a potential negative impact on the building. That brings the facility to meet building codes. Beyond that, the assessment proactively addresses the deficiencies not covered by code.

The occupants of a building benefit as the assessment reveals conditions having a potential impact on their health or safety. The assessment must not overlook those conditions, nor fail to consider the frequency and duration of occupant visits.