How COVID Has Affected Our Physical Activity

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This spring, our lives fully ground to a halt: no socializing, no offices, no travel, no safe options except to lock down and stay inside. Experiencing the world virtually, through our phones and computers, means many of us are moving around less than we used to. Learning to live through a pandemic has been an ongoing process for all of us, especially as we try to adjust our own needs and wants, with varying success.

For researchers at Kent State University, that's cause for concern. That's why they've just published a study looking into how COVID-19 has affected how and how much we move around. The results are both surprising and in line with expectations, with differences among different demographics. People who were more physically active before the pandemic hit saw a massive decrease in their exercise. However, people who were formerly more sedentary found themselves seeking out more movement, such as by taking walks.

Overall, however, all of us are sitting an average of one additional hour per day than before the lockdown. We've got lots of research showing us that staying seated all the time is bad for our bodies and for our mental health. Some law firms think sitting all the time for work might even be a health hazard. A standing desk isn't the answer to all these problems, but taking small, frequent breaks can do a lot of good. Check in with your posture, drink water, and look away from your screens at regular intervals. Your body knows how to tell you when it's unhappy — all we have to do is learn to listen.