If you gained the “COVID 19” while working from home, you are not alone, a Chinese company faces backlash over “spy chairs,” and Tinder turns to background screening to help protect those searching for love. It’s all in today’s EBI Screening News Update.
Could getting back to the office help shrink your waistline?
A new study proves something we all know – even if we don’t want to admit it!
According to research out of the University of California San Francisco, stay-at-home orders caused people to gain an average of 1.5 pounds every month. Since many people are now in month 13 of working from home, the added pounds can be significant.
Scientists say the reasons for the gains boil down to two simple issues – easy snacking and the loss of simple movement that can really add up during the day. For example, just clicking on Zoom for your next meeting instead of walking across the office or up a flight of stairs. Or maybe you grab a cup of coffee or a snack while working from the kitchen table instead of taking a quick walk to the coffee shop across the street. Plus, the trip from bed to your laptop is a lot less steps than going to your car or other transportation. All these little changes have added up to some big weight gains.
Is there light at the end of the tunnel now that Spring is here and some states are starting to lift restrictions?
Researchers say reopening may not be enough to counteract the trend because it is very likely many Americans will continue to work remotely even once COVID-19 is in the rearview mirror.
So, what to do? Dr. Gregory Marcus, who led the study, says we all need to look for ways to get those steps back into our days, schedule time for exercise on your calendar, and seriously ask yourself if you’re eating because you are hungry or if you are just bored.
Speaking of sitting too much, a company in China gave its employees “smart” cushions that they claimed would help monitor their health as they worked from home during the pandemic.
Employees were told the cushions were a goodwill gesture, a way to help them work smarter and healthier. The new seats alerted workers if their posture was showing they were fatigued, followed their heart rates, and even suggested when it was time to stretch.
What they didn’t know is that they were also recording when and how long they were away from their desks! The jig was up when Human Resources managers started asking questions about why people were not in their chairs. One employee says the discovery made her feel “naked at work.”
The company says the whole thing was just a trial and the data was never supposed to be released to HR. A spokesperson says the company never intended to breach employees’ privacy, and there is no plan to use the data for performance reviews.
Most of us are not surprised when an employer tells us we have to undergo a background check to get the job, but what about for getting a date? Tinder users will soon be able to find out if the person they have their eye on has something to hide.
The new background checks will not be quite as complete as those used by employers for hiring purposes, but they will be able to tell users if a match has a criminal record or a history of violence. They will not, however, show any records regarding drug arrests or traffic violations because the company says these records disproportionately impact minority groups.
The technology Tinder will be using is called Garbo. It’s a non-profit that uses public records to protect people from the risk of meeting and trusting strangers they meet online, whether it’s dating or ridesharing, and anything in-between.
There is no word yet on when the service will be available on Tinder, or how much it will cost. The company is trying to figure out how to keep the price as low as possible so everyone can have access to the service.
Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.