Updated: Apr 21
A look into the impact lockdown has had on health and wellbeing.
Covid-19 has been a terrible time for the mass majority of people and, although necessary, the government lockdowns brought on by the pandemic have had a detrimental effect on people's health and wellbeing.
For some, on the other hand, isolation has almost been the catalyst for a health and wellbeing revolution.
This post will investigate the impacts of lockdown on health and wellbeing, whether they are negative or perhaps positive.
Increased Stress and Anxiety
Firstly, it is important to address that the stress and anxiety caused by the mere idea of a virus is enough to negatively impact people's mental health.
But there are many other factors at play.
The fear of losing one's job, furlough, over-bearing media and news; lockdown has brought on many reasons as to why we are seeing an increase in levels of stress and anxiety.
March 2020 saw 49.6% of people report an increase in high levels of anxiety.
The main issue with stress and anxiety is the problems they go on to cause. In terms of health and wellbeing, these include:
- Frustration and anger.
- Changes in appetite.
- Poor sleeping patterns.
- Increased use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substances.
Feelings of loneliness have increased over lockdown.
In some way, there is a silver lining. This has been a shared experience. People aren't alone in their feelings of loneliness.
Research has shown that social isolation links to higher risks of mental and physical conditions, such as high blood pressure, obesity, depression, anxiety, and more.
This wave of isolation has especially affected the mental health of young adults, with a survey identifying that 50% of 16-24 year-olds have experienced ‘lockdown loneliness.'
Again, furlough, working under restrictions, adapting to change; there are many reasons why current working conditions would negatively affect the health and wellbeing of the workforce.
With lockdown restrictions set to ease, thousands are returning to the workplace. Great news, but it's worth noting that this can cause stress and anxiety.
Going back to a job after a period of absence can be overwhelming, especially in times of extreme change.
It is the duty of employers and businesses to support their staff during these difficulties, and make sure that they are ready to adapt.
This really depends on the person.
The gyms are shut, classes have stopped, and a number of sports clubs are closed; causing major disruptions in people's fitness schedules.
However, studies have revealed that Covid-19 has caused a boom in outdoor exercise. 59.1% of active adults surveyed agreed that activities such as hiking, running, walking, etc. are now the best way to achieve their fitness goals.
With this in mind, it could be argued that lockdown has had a positive impact on health and wellbeing (in terms of fitness), as people are now seeing the benefits of outdoor exercise.
Lockdown has had a negative impact on people's health and wellbeing, to say otherwise may be insensitive.
Stress, depression, work-related anxiety; there are many issues that have arisen, and it is essential that employers offer support to their staff.
But it's not all bad, for many, Covid-19 has been a time of enlightenment. A time to see the benefits of exercising outdoors and truly valuing one's own health and wellbeing.
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