How does coronavirus lockdown affect our health?

People who have lost their jobs and the most dynamic ones are most affected by the isolation and blocking of activities due to the pandemic. Governments and health authorities will need to take this into account

(photo: Getty Images)

How are we reacting to the lockdown ? A seemingly trivial question, to which so far everyone – from experts in various capacities to ordinary citizens – has answered sentimentally . But what do the data say instead? In reality there is still not much to think about, but on Psychiatry Research is recently available on first studio photographing the suspended life at the time of coronavirus , where it hit the hardest. The more dynamic people and those who do not work because of the pandemic they seem to feel worse after a month of confinement. Preliminary results , say the authors of the research, but which politicians and health authorities should already consider.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide, Sydney and Tongji interviewed 369 adult subjects resident in 64 city of China under the lockdown regime for the entire month of February. The questions were aimed at getting a picture of physical and mental health conditions of people at the end of this period, also estimating the degree of anguish and the sense of satisfaction for one's life.

In this population sample, the 27% of people continued to go to the workplace , the 38% was in smart working and the 25% was no longer working due to the pandemic.

From the analysis it emerged that in the cities where Covid – 19 made the big voice the degree of satisfaction for one's life was lower for those people who have chronic health problems (therefore already present before the coronavirus emergency).

Those who have lost their jobs or had to stop altogether due to the lockdown, its business reported the worst health conditions both physically and mentally, as well as a high degree of anguish . “We weren't surprised” , commented Andreas Rauch of the University of Sydney. “Work can give people a purpose and routine, which are particularly important during this global pandemic” .

Scientists also asked participants how much time they spent on physical activity during the lockdown. By putting this information in relation to the other parameters analyzed, an apparently counterintuitive datum arose : who was held in exercise for more than 2,5 hours per day referred to a less sense of satisfaction for one's life than those who trained for less than half an hour. “ It is possible that adult individuals who exercise less can better justify or rationalize their inactive lifestyle in the most severely affected cities , ”noted Stephen Zhang of the University of Adelaide. “ Further research is needed , but these early results suggest that we must pay attention to physically more active individuals, who may be more frustrated by restrictions “.

“Our data support the need to pay attention to the health of people who have not been epidemiologically affected by the virus , in particular to that of people who stopped working during the epidemic “, the researchers write in the article. “Our results show that physically active people could be more susceptible to problems on well-being during the blockade “.

I political decision makers , say the authors, should keep in consider these implications when they introduce more restrictive measures to contain Covid – 19 . The study could be for them a sort of crystal ball which makes it possible to glimpse the effects of a month of lockdown on the population.

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