a boy watching TV

a boy watching TV

The COVID-19 epidemic has practically knocked several individuals on their buttocks. Initially, many schools shifted to online programs. When several of these institutions restarted in-person sessions, they reduced the number of students who moved from one location. Similarly, many firms allow employees to work from home. As a result, fewer individuals have been walking to bus stations or wandering about schools or businesses. People are increasingly spending more time sitting. 

Sitting Can Hurt

The human body is designed to move. This increasingly sedentary lifestyle is harmful to one’s health. Limiting mobility may cause many issues, ranging from growing waistlines and rising blood pressure to increased chronic diseases like diabetes. An increasing amount of evidence suggests that when we don’t exercise enough, our brain suffers as well. And this might lead to mental health issues that may arise during your adolescence. 

Jacob Barkley is a physical therapist at Kent State University in Ohio. Last year, he founded a team polling 398 college students and professors on their activities before and after in-person classes were discontinued in March 2020. On average, those who had exercised the most became less physically active. Less active people increased their physical activity following the class shutdowns. 

Nonetheless, idle time increased significantly for the whole group. From April to June 2020, the persons polled sat over eight hours more per week on average than they had previously. Barkley’s team published their findings in the International Journal of Exercise Science on September 1, 2020. 

“I would respond yes to the question, ‘Did COVID knock us on our backsides?’ Yes, at least throughout the time we conducted our study,” according to Barkley. 

Mental Health Issues

In another study, researchers polled 937 Brazilian adults in the early months of the epidemic. Except for doctor’s appointments and grocery shopping, they largely stayed at home. According to their estimations, one-third of these people sat for more than 10 hours each day. People who did this were more likely to experience depressive symptoms. A multinational team published its results in the October 2020 issue of Psychiatry Research. 

According to research, the more time people spend sitting or lazing around, the greater their risk of depression and other mental health disorders. However, other evidence suggests that any increased risk of depression may be related to what people do when sitting. 

Brazilian research verified what experts previously knew. Excessive sitting leads to an increased incidence of depression and other health issues. And, while COVID-19 may have raised the number of time people spent sitting, for the majority of them, the trend toward less exercise began years before. 

During their adolescence, people begin to become increasingly sedentary.  Sitting 90 minutes longer than they did at the age of 12. Over the same period, the average amount of time they spent exercising decreased by around 80 minutes, to a little over four hours each day. The findings were published in The Lancet Psychiatry in March 2020.