A second wave of coronavirus and a new confinement of the province could have negative consequences on the healthy lifestyles of the population. This is what the National Institute of Public Health fears in the light of a poll conducted this spring, when Quebec was “on hiatus”.
The sounding was carried out from March 21 to May 31 among a thousand Quebec adults. The participants were asked about a multitude of lifestyle and consumption habits.
In a publication released Wednesday, the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ) focuses on physical activity, sleep and people’s concerns about their weight.
We learn that at the height of the COVID-19 crisis and the containment measures, in early April, 47% of people surveyed said they moved less. Such a result is relatively
normal , according to researcher Ève Dubé. Notably because it was the start of the pandemic and the moment when the contagion curve was on the rise in Quebec.
However, one of the objectives of the study was to check whether the behaviors
would be maintained over time , she continues. And as of May 31, one in three people was still less active.
This measure is more worrying in the eyes of Ms. Dubé.
It is still worrying to see that, even at the end of May, when deconfinement measures had been initiated in Quebec, there was still a large proportion of the population whose lifestyles remained disrupted , says the anthropologist.
Ève Dubé is an anthropologist and researcher at the INSPQ
Sleep and weight
Other lifestyle habits were thus undermined and behaviors were also maintained until the gates of summer.
Also on May 31, a third of the sample said they observed a drop in the quality of sleep. The proportion remained stable throughout the period covered by this first survey.
As for people’s worry about weight, 40% of 1,000 adults admitted their concern in May, a rate that has increased from the April period, according to the INSPQQuebec National Institute of Public Health.
These findings are in addition to those on alcohol consumption. In another publication published two weeks ago, the Institute revealed that 25% of alcohol drinkers had increased their consumption during the spring confinement. However, the crisis had not created new consumers.
The negative consequences of the pandemic on lifestyle habits and concern about weight seem to particularly affect people living in households whose income has declined due to the pandemic and residents of the greater Montreal area.Source: National Institute of Public Health of Quebec
A decline in healthy lifestyles is not to be taken lightly, according to Ève Dubé.
We know that the quality of sleep, diet, level of physical activity, it has important consequences on overall well-being , she recalls.
According to the INSPQQuebec National Institute of Public Health, collateral damage to confinement could manifest itself in the medium or long term in some people who would maintain poorer habits.
The findings of the survey lead to reflection concerning a second confinement.
We must keep in mind all these indirect consequences, or find measures to mitigate the negative effects , argues Ms. Dubé.
It is essential to prevent the spread of the disease […] but it should always be kept in mind that the solution must not be worse than the problem.Ève Dubé, researcher and anthropologist at the INSPQ
In this regard, she believes that the decision-makers are perfectly aware of this for the future.
I think these findings are shared by people in government , she said.
Other indirect damage from the coronavirus made headlines this spring. Some people were reluctant to go to the emergency room. An increase in complications related to infarcts was also observed. In addition, there are the impacts of load shedding as well as the postponement of certain treatments or surgeries.