Advance Dermatology shared that it’s been a year since the Covid-19 pandemic began – a year marked by indescribable tragedy and relentless disruption of routines for nearly every American and billions of people around the globe.
No doubt, we’re persevering, we’re making it through. As spring approaches, and we reflect on new beginnings, it’s time to reflect on the bad habits many of us have picked up along the way. Millions of Americans have spent this past year cooped up indoors, working from their couches, wearing pajamas, and stress snacking. In some respects, it was the only way to get through this.
In the interest of self-knowledge, and setting intentions for our best, healthiest year yet, we’ve surveyed more than 2,022 Americans about their unhealthy (and healthy) habits during the 2020 pandemic. Seventy-four percent of respondents say they wish they’d taken better care of themselves this past year, including many admitting to sub-par skincare. The most common reason cited for unhealthy habits? The emotional toll. Stress and anxiety.
The good news, of those who say they should have taken better care of themselves, 61 percent have already started to make progress towards healthier lifestyles.
Not surprisingly, much of the attention is on weight gain. Sixty-one percent of respondents said they’ve gained weight during the pandemic, at an average of ten pounds per person. That’s no small thing, particularly for people who were already overweight. Let’s not forget that obesity is one of the primary comorbidities with Covid-19.
We asked people why they think they gained weight. The reasons are unsurprising, but not always as simple as eating more and moving less. For example, one in five people said part of their weight gain was due to not feeling the pressure of having to see other people in social situations.
Looking beyond weight gain, in particular, we asked people about a broad range of unhealthy behaviors known to correlate with the unique pressures of life during the pandemic. By far, the lack of time spent moving outdoors has been the biggest culprit, and unfortunately for many of us in the northern part of the country, that will continue to be a challenge for at least several more weeks.
One of the peskier bad habits we asked about is poor posture, which more than half of respondents say they’ve suffered from, likely while making the switch from in-office workstations to more improvised spaces in their homes.