|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 6 | Page : 259-261
Influence of COVID-19 pandemic on health due to home confinement
Purvy Garg, Pratibha Singh
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies, Faridabad, Haryana, India
|Date of Submission||15-May-2021|
|Date of Decision||12-Nov-2021|
|Date of Acceptance||04-Dec-2021|
|Date of Web Publication||31-Dec-2021|
Dr. Purvy Garg
Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies, Faridabad, Haryana
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Garg P, Singh P. Influence of COVID-19 pandemic on health due to home confinement. Curr Med Res Pract 2021;11:259-61
| Introduction|| |
COVID-19 has alarmed the whole world. First case of COVID-19 was witnessed in Wuhan, China, in the late December 2019. It was initially spotted in a seafood market in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. On 11 March 2020, it was announced as a 'Pandemic' by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the cases were increasing tremendously all over the world.
One of the important preventive measures of disease was to confine people to their homes. This was referred to as lockdown. This confinement to home has affected everyone's health in every aspect, i.e., physically, socially, mentally and emotionally. All the schools, colleges, restaurants, shopping complexes, cinema halls, etc., were completely shut during the lockdown period. This resulted in altered daily routine, less physical activity, altered sleep time and quality and much more.
The enduring impact of COVID-19 pandemic and allied restrictions is likely to have a significant impact on dietary pattern and lifestyle, including physical activity and sleep. Besides this, mental health has also been affected tremendously. All the factors, i.e., diet, physical activity, sleep and mental health, contribute to the overall well-being and health of a person. The burden of the pandemic is continuing to alter the lifestyle globally even after a year. Thus, it becomes important to find out the impact COVID-19 has on these factors.
The pandemic has limited physical activity in people of all ages. In a lot of countries, indoor and outdoor activities as well as recreational facilities, such as gyms, swimming pools and playgrounds, have been shut down. Several changes have been made by the pandemic in the life of the students, but the major one is attending online classes. This could have an adverse impact on their health.
The novel coronavirus has disturbed the psychological state, economy of the country, tourism and the daily routine of the people. Moreover, eating habits such as frequency of consumption of food, eating restaurant food and packaged food are also affected. Limited or no access to outdoor activities, gym, parks, etc., reduced the chances of being physically active. Further schools and colleges have been closed which makes the students' physical activity level worse. Alterations in physical activity are bound to have a significant effect on sleep. People had more time for cooking, and therefore, an increase in the intake of home-cooked food. As restaurants were closed during the lockdown, the consumption of the restaurant food would have been affected. Screen time would have been affected extensively.
This editorial describes the impact of COVID-19 on health including dietary pattern, sleep, mental health and sedentary behaviour.
| COVID-19 and Sedentary Behaviour|| |
The COVID-19 pandemic has made people to stay at their homes; this has prompted the sedentary behaviour. One study was conducted in China in the starting of the pandemic on children's and adolescents with the help of global physical activity questionnaire. It was observed that there was a drastic decrease in physical activities of the respondents. It was decreased from 540 min/week to 105 min/week during the pandemic. This behaviour not only affected them physically but also mentally.
There was an immense increase in screen time in the form of television (TV), mobiles and laptops which affected everyone in the pandemic. Furthermore, it has been observed that elevated TV viewing is positively correlated with frequency of consumption of ultra-processed foods. A study in India showed that there was a decrease in physical activity and increase in screen time, especially among men and upper socio-economic strata.
| COVID-19 and Sleep|| |
Sedentary behaviour, eating patterns, anxiety, stress, etc., have affected sleep in the pandemic enormously. Pandemic has changed the overall lifestyle of the people. In a survey, 96% of people reported a change in their lifestyle. A study conducted in Italy has shown a significant impact on sleep and psycho-emotional well-being due to lockdown. It was also observed that this impact was greater in students as compared to administrative staff workers. Females were affected in higher proportion. A systematic review and a meta-analysis were conducted on sleep problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. After analysing 44 papers, involving a total of 54,231 participants from 13 countries, it was concluded that the prevalence of sleep problems in this pandemic was high. A comparative study done on pre-schoolers showed changes on sleep patterns with later bedtimes and wakeup times when compared to 2018 data. Negative effect on sleep quality of adults was also significant. Sleep hours have increased during this pandemic. Possible reasons for this could be boredom, anxiety, social media usage, lack of physical activity, etc.
| COVID-19 and Dietary Habits|| |
Di Renzo et al. conducted a study on impact of COVID-19 pandemic on eating habits and lifestyle changes and observed that 48.6% of participants have gained weight whereas 13.9% of them have lost weight. Alcohol consumption was reported to be decreased., Amount of water consumption also varied in different studies. Low water consumption was associated with increase in weight.
It cannot be said that COVID-19 has just impacted dietary habits negatively. As people had more time for preparing meals and more time for taking care of themselves, many people have improved their eating habits. Along this line, Chopra et al. reported that improvement in healthy meal consumption and restriction of unhealthy food items were observed, especially among younger population.
Immunity-boosting foods have also gained a lot of popularity during the pandemic. People started consuming supplements to enhance their immunity. It was observed in a study that 21.3% of people declared that they were consuming supplements such as multivitamins, Vitamin D, Vitamin C or some herbal products. It has been seen in one of the studies that habitual use of Vitamin D supplementation is related to lower risk of the COVID-19.
| COVID-19 and Mental Health|| |
The pandemic has affected mental health adversely and possible reasons could be isolation, fear of loss of their loved ones, financial problems, family issues, etc., Previously also, it was observed that when an outbreak of any disease occurs, mental health of the people gets affected. In 2015, there was an outbreak of Korean MERS-CoV in which the patients were given haemodialysis in an isolated environment and a high level of stress was observed in these patients. Healthcare workers were affected psychologically and physically as they were more prone to COVID-19 than everyone else. This had an impact on their mental health. In a systematic review, it was seen that there was an increase in depressive symptoms, psychological distress and poor sleep quality among the healthcare workers. Moreover, prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder-like symptoms was found between 11% and 73.4%.
Children and young adults are also affected a lot due to the pandemic. de Figueiredo et al. studied this impact and gave aspects on neurological changes that were caused due the pandemic which are obesity, substance abuse, lack of emotional processing, psychiatric disorders and suicidal thoughts. Distress, hopelessness, irregular food intake and domestic violence were some of the immediate consequences stated.
The study revealed a high impact of COVID-19 on every aspect of health. There is a significant amount of literature which has shown the effect of COVID-19 on sedentary behaviour, sleep, dietary behaviour and mental health. Majority of the studies have reported changes in weight, decrease in their physical activity and more screen time. Sleep quality has also been poor. A significant change in the dietary habits was also seen, and the effects came out to be both positive and negative. Increase in processed foods is observed in many surveys. Many studies have reported a decrease in alcohol consumption. Mental health has been affected negatively. Stress, anxiety, depression and boredom were reported in most of the studies. Contrary to this, pandemic has been a blessing to the environment. India's air quality has been a big concern when it comes to well-being. Due to the lockdown, positive effects on the air quality were observed. This air quality status might be temporary, but the aerosol level was reported to be the lowest in the past 20 years by NASA. All the surveys were conducted through online questionnaires mostly as it was not safe in the COVID times to have one-on-one interviews for the data collection. As all the questionnaires were self-reported, there might be some discrepancies in the measurement of weight, height, body mass index, etc.
If the negative alterations observed by the various authors become sustained for long term, then it could be a public health concern worldwide and could be the cause of many non-communicable diseases in the coming years.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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