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The Impact of COVID-19 on Physical Health

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The emergence of the COVID-19 has brought significant lifestyle changes to many. COVID-19 induced lockdowns have been frequent worldwide, and as much as people dislike it, it’s necessary for everyone’s safety.

While COVID-19 is the more obvious pandemic, another pandemic is silently happening around us. That is the pandemic of inactivity. The sudden change of lifestyle is dominated by remote work. Remote work set-ups are known to be sedentary, meaning they require little to no physical activity at all. Since most of the work has become digital, it has decreased everyone’s overall physical activity.  

Impact on Musculoskeletal Health

Musculoskeletal health means the health of your muscles and bones. The impact of the pandemic has affected our musculoskeletal health significantly. In a survey published, data gathered showed the adverse effects lockdown had on its respondents. It’s also been concluded that the short-term effects people may experience can evolve into something chronic when left unattended. 

Physical inactivity also increased the occurrence of lower and upper back pain. This also implies that those who already suffer from these conditions before the pandemic happened could worsen. Older people might also develop osteoporosis or degenerative disc disease because of physical inactivity. 

With that, health treatments for people who suffer from back pain may be impeded by the pandemic. As hospitals’ efforts are saturated in treating COVID-19 patients, it is hard to seek medical attention. As an alternative, many will pursue over-the-counter solutions such as back braces offered by, which are ideal for mitigating back pain.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Typically Vitamin D is acquired through the sun exposure people get from staying outdoors. 

The frequent time spent indoors has also increased the risk of developing vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency can cause muscles to weaken, painful bones, and even joint deformities. The NHS has recommended vitamin D intake to people who are always indoors to prevent these illnesses from happening. 

Vitamin D is also shown to boost the immune system, which is helpful in the prevention of COVID-19. 

Muscle Deterioration

Muscle deterioration or sarcopenia is also occurrent in the pandemic. A study states that physical inactivity combined with other factors brought by the pandemic puts older people at high risk—the risk of developing muscle deterioration and other lifestyle-related diseases. 

Older people are not the only ones at risk of muscle deterioration. An article published by the BBC also stated that the lack of activity in people declined the general strength of the population. 

A Correlation

Given the studies published on this phenomenon, it is safe to say that the lockdown affects our lifestyles negatively in many ways. The mobility and strength of people are compromised because staying indoors for too long while coupled with sedentary activities. 

The solution for this is simple, be more active. But that is impossible when people are anxious about catching COVID-19. The system of how people operate in these times has changed and has already been replaced with digitalization. The bare minimum people can do is to exercise at home. 

One thing that also affects the ability for many to be as active before the pandemic is the overlap of work and home in their lifestyle. This change due to remote set-ups may cause people to work at extended periods compared to when office work was the norm. This overlap causes people to have less time to focus on self-improvement activities. 

To conclude, the fact that physical health is affected the same way as one’s mental health in the pandemic proves that the lifestyle the pandemic brings is ultimately unhealthy. While many are accustomed to the remote set-ups and the constant need to stay indoors, it doesn’t mean that our bodies are. 

Our physiological needs signal us that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy and can cause more harm than good. The fact that people’s lives had revolved around sedentary work such as sitting in school or office before the pandemic was already unhealthy for many. But now, the pandemic amplified it by restricting people to go outside or commute to work; it reinforces the fact that people are bound to be unhealthy by the end of the pandemic. 

As people grow more and more tired of the repetitive cycle the pandemic causes, there is now a virtue-signaling to actively end the pandemic so people can transition back to how things used to be. A collective effort by everyone to end the pandemic can contribute to following proper health protocols to contain the disease. 

The sooner the pandemic ends, the sooner people can participate in an active and healthier lifestyle.

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