Physical Activity Still Lower To Pre-Pandemic Levels

by Lisa Breitenwischer

April 19, 2023

Physical Activity Still Lower To Pre-Pandemic Levels

Global physical activity plummeted in early 2020, as lockdowns and work-from-home mandates took effect to reduce COVID-19 spread. Even though all those restrictions have lifted, activity hasn’t returned to its pre-pandemic level, according to a new study in The Lancet Global Health.

Physical activity dropped by 32 percent among those who had higher fitness levels pre-pandemic.

One explanation, is that it’s possible being more sedentary has become an entrenched habit that’s proving challenging to overcome for many individuals, even those who were more active previously.

However, if these recovery rates continue to be stagnant—or to decline again, if a new variant causes more lockdowns—the effects on population health could be profound. That could increase the severity of COVID, and may also make for a generally unhealthier populace. At an individual level, being sedentary has been linked to numerous health risks, from cardiovascular disease to depression to some cancers.

First author Geoffrey Tison, M.D., cardiologist and assistant professor of cardiology at University of California, San Francisco said, “This study reminds us that in addition to adhering to infection precautions when necessary or advised, we should also pay attention to increasing our physical activity, which is important for health.”

Numerous studies have shown that physical activity is an important health determinant; prolonged and low physical activity for the population in the long run would likely mean increased levels of chronic and preventable diseases.

Regular physical activity, such as walking, cycling, wheeling, doing sports or active recreation, provides significant benefits for health. Some physical activity is better than doing none. By becoming more active throughout the day in relatively simple ways, people can easily achieve the recommended activity levels.

If you’re looking for support with getting your health back on track, sign up for a health consultation today! You’ll feel better for it. Sign me up.

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