COVID-19, PEOPLE ARE RADICALLY LESS ACTIVE, WHAT CAN WE DO ?
This pandemic is a sanitarian tsunami, but also an economic and social tsunami. Life of millions of people is already changing with people being confined, having less incomes, and we can anticipate social movements due to increased poverty and precarity.
There is another impact we have not been speaking about too much, a massive drop in physical activity and its secondary effects. In a country like Mexico, where I live, reaching sadly podium in obesity and diabetes worldwide, the COVID-19 will have a double impact on health of people because of their sedentarity. We all know that physical activity contributes to both physical and mental health. Hard to hit the 10.000 steps a day recommended to have a healthy active lifestyle when you are supposed (or obliged depending on countries) to stay home.
Good news, most people have more time now that we are living, working, teaching, parenting at home. Some governments allow people to go outside to walk or run (alone) even during confinement, and being honest, many people including myself sneak out in empty outdoor spaces to breath. But most important as sports stakeholders is to contribute to making people stay home and stay active.
We have noticed the sports community (governments, brands, federations, clubs, media, athletes, influencers…) coming together and solving cancelled events with virtual events and training plans. What helps people staying active ? Youtube clearly with all sorts of tutorials, virtual apps or workout equipment’s, home gym, treadmill or stationary bike… And the good point, it can be fun both individually being connected with others from the community, as well as in family. It does increase parents / kids bound sharing activities.
Doesn’t it provide positivity to take these short moments to be active and share it ? In this period more than ever, community and communication is key. It is proven that maintaining communication with friends and family, sharing advice and tips… are key to boost morale and stay positive to cope with the outbreak. Most people’s inspiration to stay active is: family and friends, influencers, then brands and gyms / workout studios. What if each stakeholder was contributing, to engage its community to move up to reward them with giveaways ?
Top suggestions are therefore:
For sports stakeholders and not only (companies, governments…) to engage their community into physical activity: virtual challenges (races, runs, events, etc.), staying positive together, virtual workouts meetups (with coaches, brands…), rewards programs
For individuals: to organize daily moments alone or in family to stay active and share it with family & friends. Positivity is contagious as well.
Take care of yourself, find breaks to move and be creative, stretch and make the time to focus on your well-being.
STAY HOME, STAY ACTIVE !