More anxiety and less sleep: These were the effects of the covid-19 lockdown, says a study

Updated on: 5 May 2021, 12:07 pm IST

A global survey has found that the covid-19 lockdown drastically impaired the quality of sleep in people and even led to weight gain.

covid-19 and sleep
Living through the covid-19 lockdown was hardly easy. Image courtesy: Unsplash

This year has turned our life upside down. And of course the covid-19 pandemic is to blame. This viral disease not only has an astoundingly negative effect on the body—it can also mess up your mental health.

In fact, recent research has shown that covid-19 has induced extreme stress and anxiety in people—to a point that it is creating body image issues. And now, a study is also claims that the initial phase of the covid-19 lockdown also dramatically altered people’s personal eating and sleeping habits

Here’s how the study was conducted 

The study, published in the journal Obesity, evaluated the inadvertent changes in health behaviours that took place under the pandemic’s widespread restrictions.

According to the survey, conducted by the researchers, including those from Louisiana State University (LSU) in the US, the lockdown’s effects were magnified among people with obesity.

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“The stay-at-home orders did result in one major health positive. Overall, healthy eating increased because we ate out less frequently. However, we snacked more. We got less exercise. We went to bed later and slept more poorly. Our anxiety levels doubled,” said study co-author Leanne Redman from Louisiana State University.

“Overall, people with obesity improved their diets the most. But they also experienced the sharpest declines in mental health and the highest incidence of weight gain,” Redman said.

The survey ran during the month of April and included responses from 7,754 people and the majority of the respondents were in the US with residents of Australia, Canada, the UK, and more than 50 other countries also participating.

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Weight gain was common amongst obese people during the lockdown

It revealed that about one-third of surveyed people with obesity gained weight during the lockdown, compared to 20.5% of people with normal weight or overweight.

“This study is the first to survey thousands of people across the globe on lifestyle behaviour changes in response to stay-at-home orders. The study demonstrates that chronic diseases like obesity affect our health beyond the physical,” said John Kirwan, another co-author of the study.

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