Showcasing Science

Showcasing Science: Exercise on the rise – but not for all.

Have you taken up a new sport in lockdown? With recent heatwaves and increased time at home, many have opted to take up a new exercise regime. However, this is not a benefit seen by all.

New scientific research conducted by Dr. Dan Gordon and his team at Anglia Ruskin University shows that while many of us have opted to hit the pavement, without proper attention to accessibility requirements, millions will be left vulnerable to health declines.

Studies conducted by the ARU team have sought to understand our new lockdown behaviours and activities. Over the course of several surveys, hundreds of people have shared their experiences.

Following the rise of online workouts and increased free time, there has been an increase in higher intensity recreational sport and exercise.

However, sedentary behaviour has increased – around 90 mins a day. Work-related activity is also on the decline, due to a lack of walking and cycling on commutes over the past five months. This has important implications for physical and mental well-being.

This is particularly true for some communities, such as the blind and visually impaired.

Surveying this group in more detail, with the support of British Blind Sport, the majority of respondents have continued to exercise during lockdown, however the amount of activity was reduced in for all. Those who continued to exercise reported switching to private indoor spaces.

Dan’s research has highlighted that there may be profound health implications for those that are blind or visually impaired.

Recommendations from the research include considering accessibility when delivering lockdown interventions, and a focus on maintaining physical activity in people with visual impairment to help to reduce negative health outcomes.

Find out more about Dan here.

This blog was published as part of our Showcasing Science: Behind the scenes of COVID19 series. Read the rest of the blogs here.