What happens to the psyche of people whom quarantine has deprived of going to the gym

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The new study focused on the symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia.

Quarantine, anxiety, insomnia

Depression, anxiety and feelings of stress – widespread consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. These disorders often lead to insomnia. In the United States in the first months of the pandemic, the sale of tranquilizers increased by 34%, and the number of prescriptions for antidepressants and sleeping pills – by 19% and 15%, respectively. In Norway during this period, people became more often resort to remote counseling for mental problems.

It is well known that physical activity tied with lower levels of anxiety and depression, and reduces the risk of insomnia. But during quarantine, exercise options may be limited.

How the psyche tolerates the closure of the gym

Fitness centers and gyms are closed during quarantine. The Norwegian scientists wanted to test whether former clients of these establishments develop anxiety and depression, and whether insomnia develops. Results of their research published at Sleep Medicine.

In June, before the end of a four-month quarantine in Norway, scientists interviewed more than 1,200 people who were previously regular customers of a large fitness center chain.

It turned out that the prevalence of depression and anxiety among the study participants was lower than the average among the population of the country, the scientists point out. They note that this is not surprising since the respondents were in relatively good physical shape.

Scientists identified three groups among the study participants: some of them had to reduce the level of stress, some kept it at the same level, and some even increased it.

Study participants with symptoms of depression and anxiety slept worse than people without these problems. The most interesting finding of the study, scientists believe, is that these sleep disturbances did not depend on whether people began to do less exercise: everyone suffered the same.

Scientists plan to interview these same people again in December to track possible dynamics of changes in sleep disorders.



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