The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdowns have had a dramatic impact on our daily lives. In addition to affecting our health, wellbeing and financial security, the lockdowns have changed how we can exercise, socialise, and enjoy our spare time.
A new research paper from the British Chiropractors Association (BCA) has highlighted how much the lockdowns have impacted the health and wellbeing of UK citizens. In this post, our Stoke chiropractor shares some key findings from this research as well as some tips on how to stay healthy during lockdown.
If you have experienced back pain or joint pain during lockdown, book a visit with our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent by calling 01782 848 184. We will provide chiropractic care and lifestyle advice to help you stay healthy during this difficult time.
What Did The Researchers Discover?
The BCA launched research*, conducted with One Poll, which surveyed 10,000 people from across the UK, with the goal of discovering how the lockdown has affected their physical wellbeing.
The survey found that people in all age groups experienced a decline in their health during the lockdowns. However, young people were particularly affected, perhaps because their lifestyles changed so much. Some of the key insights from the study included:
- 57% of respondents said they are spending more time sitting down than they did previously
- Less than a third of people adhered to their wellbeing routine during lockdown
- 42% of Brits discovered they no longer had the time to exercise
- Men were almost twice as likely to adapt to their changing routine
- 37% of respondents said that personal motivation would be the biggest barrier to improving their daily routines if lockdown continued into 2021
- Almost a third of people have experienced poor sleep quality during lockdown
- One in four respondents had experienced new symptoms of back, shoulder and neck pain during lockdown
- 47% of respondents said they would be interested in improving their exercise regime in 2021, 42% said they wanted to spend more time outdoors and 35% said they wanted to spend more time with friends and family
- 75% of 18-24-year olds reported that they are spending more time siting down since lockdown
- 40% of 18-24 years old are experiencing poor sleep quality since lockdown, which is worse than other age groups
- About 30% of 18-24-year olds are experiencing symptoms of back, neck or shoulder pain since March, when the first lockdown commenced
Why Does It Matter?
The survey clearly indicates that the lockdown is having a negative impact on the physical health and wellbeing of respondents. As people are finding it harder to exercise and are spending more time sitting down, they are beginning to see a deterioration in their health. A few of the consequences of these lifestyle changes include:
Episodic Back Pain
Having a sedentary lifestyle can have a significant impact on spinal health. Spending many hours in a chair can cause the spine to become overly compressed and place more stress on the intervertebral discs. This can result in episodic back pain and eventually cause damage to the spine.
It may also increase the risk of a herniated disc occurring, particularly if the health of your spine is already compromised in some way.
Have you been eating a lot of sour dough bread while in lockdown or developed a taste for red wine? You aren’t alone. Many people have been overindulging on food and drink while in lockdown, simply because they have been bored. Unfortunately, overeating comes with a number of health concerns including obesity and back pain.
Prolonged sitting can also have a negative impact on your posture. It can eventually lead to problems like forward head posture, hunchback or anterior pelvic tilt. Fortunately, most postural issues can be resolve by visiting our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent
What You Can Do
So, how do you avoid the health issues associated with lockdown? Here are a few useful strategies:
- Keep exercising
Don’t use lockdown as an excuse to skip your workout. Even if you cannot leave the home to exercise, you can still use bodyweight exercises, aerobics, yoga, pilates, and free weights to workout. Even a short stretching session will be beneficial for your health.
- Keep busy around the home
Look for ways to occupy yourself, like cleaning, cooking nutritious meals, rearranging your furniture, taking up a new hobby and so on. Focus on activities which don’t involve prolonged sitting.
- Take breaks from your electronic devices
Set an alarm to remind yourself to put down your electronic device and move about. This will stop you from spending hours in a seated position, which can be quite damaging to your health.
- Visit a chiropractor in Stoke on Trent
Head to a chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent to obtain treatments for back pain, poor posture, spinal misalignments, and any other conditions affecting the spine. A chiropractor will also be able to provide nutrition and fitness advice which will help you stay healthy during lockdown.