Wholly half on the respondents in a recent survey complained that it has become more difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as work, family, and home school have become mixed up amid ongoing restrictions and partial lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Over a year in “home office mode” due the the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on Norwegians. In a recent survey, four out ten said they have gained weight, and about as many argued that their health has deteriorated.
In the survey conducted by pollster YouGov on behalf of the insurance company If, 38 percent of those surveyed answered that they had gained weight during their time at home. Another 42 percent said that the past year has had a negative impact on their health, the scientific portal Forskning reported.
By contrast, merely 23 percent answered that the home office period has been positive for their health. Nearly half of the respondents said that they got less everyday training due to work from home. Additionally, gyms have been closed for months in parts of Norway due to ongoing partial lockdowns, which makes it even harder to keep fit.
In the same survey, wholly 50 percent said that it has become more difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as work, family, and online schooling have become mixed up. Also, the cosiness that was previously reserved for holidays and weekends has become part of everyday life.
According to researchers, this is yet another proof that restrictions and lockdowns make it harder to live healthily.
“The study is part of a series of studies that show that people have experienced that it has been difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle through the many months of staying at home,” researcher Annechen Bahr Bugge at the Consumer Research Institute (SIFO) told Forskning.
She ascribed the weight gain and the deteriorating health to a drastic shift in moving patterns, as people tend to stay indoors more, as well as dietary changes.
“Usually, most people eat one or more meals (per day) in a canteen, café or restaurant. Now, these meals have been moved home,” she mused.
Furthermore, Bugge pointed out that manufacturers and marketers alike have become very apt at selling holiday food products with a high content of sugar, salt and fat – over increasingly longer periods of time.
“This is a challenge in terms of making healthy food choices. This year it comes on top ‘corona life’, which has already proven to be a challenge when it comes to health and wellness,” she mused.
Lastly, Bugge argued that dietary habits tend to lapse during “big food holidays” such as Christmas and Easter.
“Health and well-being become less important; traditions are given priority. We significantly increase our intake of meat, sweets, chocolate and snacks, soft drinks and alcohol,” she emphasised.
If communications director Lars Galtung argued that lockdown and isolation have emphasised to need to enjoy what you can.
While relatively mildly hit compared to other European nations (over 92,000 cases and over 650 deaths to date in a nation of 5.4 million), Norway has seen continuous restrictions on travelling, public life, education and sporting events. Numerous venues, including clubs and restaurants, remain closed, whereas inhabitants are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing and self-isolation and limit their contacts.