During the pandemic, habits and lifestyles have completely reversed. Many people sat for longer hours at work and reduced movement and physical activity. Although these sudden changes were inevitable, they had a negative impact on mental health.
This is supported by a new report from a study conducted by the University of Huddersfield in the United Kingdom. From the study published in the Journal of Sports Science for Health, it turns out that staying eight hours or more on a PC, in front of a screen or writing posts on Facebook when combined with some pre-existing demographic data and health conditions, was key. Variables that negatively affect mental health.
During the UK’s first lockdown, which began in March 2020, the government granted one hour of outdoor exercise per day. However, the study found that a significant proportion of people spend more than eight hours a day sitting, due to work at home or other restrictions, and that they were experiencing adverse effects on their mental health.
Even the most active people, who engage in 150 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity per week, have reported adverse effects on their mental health. Our sample consisted of nearly 300 subjects who were very active from a physical activity point of view, but more than 50% sat for more than eight hours a day.
The results were compiled in the report “The Impact of Sitting Time and Physical Activity on Mental Health during Lockdown”. The authors report that if you sit for more than eight hours, you need to exercise longer to compensate for the negative effect of sedentary behavior.
About 60 minutes is ideal, so more than the recommended 30 minutes as a minimum workout. The researchers also explain What Exactly Physical Activity Means: “It is not just about going to the gym. Walking, especially in green areas, is very important, any kind of moderate activity has advantages. We also noted from our study that leisure and gardening are activities that help both physically and mentally” .
In conclusion, the study authors say reducing the amount of time citizens spend sitting should be part of governments’ public health policy in the post-Covid-19 era.
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