Adults get ‘F’ for physical activity, slow to return to gym

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Gym enthusiasts in Timmins were eager to get back to their regular workouts once gyms reopened, according to local gym manager Tiffanie Veilleux, but she adds there are still stragglers who are slow to get back to their pre-season routines. pandemic.

She thinks COVID-19 is still keeping some people at home.

“What we’ve seen is that it’s slower for older people, obviously, and who are a little nervous about coming back into a social setting,” said Veilleux, who is also a kinesiologist. .

The global health crisis has prompted many people to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle by staying at home, which, according to a new “adult report card” from ParticipACTION, has helped give Canadians an “F” for sedentary behavior.

The report showed that around 90% of people aged 18 to 79 spend at least eight hours a day sitting or lying down (apart from sleeping), which researcher Leigh Vanderloo says contributes to various health problems.

“Increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, musculoskeletal problems,” Vanderloo said.

“(Also) increased symptoms of anxiety and depression, more difficulty coping with stress.”

Vanderloo said many people’s transition to working from home has reduced opportunities for activities such as walking to a public transit stop to get to work, a co-worker’s office or dining during pause.

Walking or biking to different locations took a dip, earning Canadians another “F” grade for active transportation.

Although there have been campaigns encouraging people to get out and engage in lively activities, Vanderloo said people sit still for much of the day.

It was also a widespread problem in pre-pandemic society, she said.

“We rely heavily on convenience. Many of us use cars to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’,” Vanderloo said, adding that sedentary entertainment like streaming services contributes to poor health. .

But health experts assure people this is not a hopeless situation, saying even small changes in routine can make a big difference.

“Anything is better than nothing right now,” Veilleux said, “If you’re sitting at home doing nothing, five minutes a day is an increase in activity.

“That’s what we want to see in sedentary people. Just a little increase, because that’s how we develop habits.”

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