The COVID-19 lockdown has dramatically altered our personal habits, and not in a good way, a first-of-its-kind global survey reveals. The findings showed our mental health, sleep patterns, exercise routines, and eating habits were strongly disrupted by social isolation and lockdowns.
In response to the global outbreak, a wave of quarantine and stay-at-home mandates have been issued to attenuate the spread of the virus. While they were successful in stopping the spread of the virus, they affected society in other ways.
Anecdotally, it seems clear that the lockdown has taken a toll. The closures of offices, fitness centers, and restaurants have disrupted our dietary and physical activities. Meanwhile, social isolation has severe impacts on mental wellness. Stress is associated with sleep disruption, increased snacking, unhealthier food consumption — which often results in weight gain, which cascades into other health problems.
But there’s a difference between anecdotes and strong evidence. To assess the widespread impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on health behaviors, the aim of the study was to quantify changes in habitual dietary behaviors, physical activity, sleep, sedentary behaviors, and mental health before and during the initial peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers surveyed over 7,000 people from over 50 countries.
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