A study carried out jointly by the Strava platform, the world’s largest sports community with more than 70 million athletes, and Stanford University (USA) demonstrates the financial, personal and motivational costs that is generating the covid-19 pandemic in the American sports community.
The study interviewed 131 American professional athletes and its findings revealed a number of substantial changes in behavior, including drastic changes in training schedules, also highlights perseverance and endurance of the professional athletic community during one of the most challenging periods in modern history.
In general, the athletes trained more and with greater intensity, although fear for economic perceptions they can receive because of the restrictions.
But also it affected their mental health. One in five athletes (22.5%) admitted having difficulties exercising for this reason, when before the covid-19 restrictions, only 3.9% of athletes said they felt depressed, more than half of them days of the week, which means multiply the proportion by almost six.
Also before the restrictions due to the pandemic, 4.7% of the athletes confessed feeling nervous or anxious more than half the days of the week. During covid-19, the increase also multiplied by six to 27.9%.
The financial aspect is another of the great concerns among the American athletes surveyed and 71% suffer from their financial benefits derived from their sports activities.
Their training habits also varied. 31% of the athletes reported that had increased the duration of their sessions of training during the survey period and, in addition, 17% say that they had increased the intensity of the training sessions.
Strava activity data indicates that professional athletes exercised during 92 minutes a day on average before restrictions of covid-19, and 103 minutes a day during restrictions due to the pandemic.
Overall, the study shows that the athletic community is finding solutions to compete safely and puts as a study the celebration of Tour of Francia or the growing interest in virtual marathons.
“The study shows that covid-19 has had broad effects on the sports community, especially with regard to mental health “, as explained in a statement Megan Roche, a clinical researcher and Ph.D. candidate in epidemiology at Stanford University.
The study’s lead author, a professor of Stanford and sports medicine doctor, Michael Fredericson, considers that the results of this analysis will increase the focus on “maximize health on elite athletes across the country during this unprecedented time. “
Fredericson admits that he is impressed by the strength shown by athletes professionals, although the study shows the cost it is having on the mental health of all of them.
“Uncontrolled stress can lower the body’s immune response, as well as impair the ability to recover total intense exercise, and we need to provide additional resources to help athletes meet these challenges, “he insisted.
The survey gathers the responses of 131 professional endurance athletes from the United States, including active cyclists (39%), runners (44%) and triathletes (11%) on the Strava platform.