News & Insights 19 March 2020

Taking care of yourself during COVID-19

As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the UK, the government has implemented further “social distancing” measures and asked for all non-essential travel to be avoided in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus. This includes, working from home where possible and not visiting pubs, restaurants and the theatre.

Whilst a long period of isolation may well be a necessary measure for public health, it has been acknowledged that it could also have a detrimental impact on peoples’ health and wellbeing.

One of the most powerful ways you can help safeguard your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing during this potentially extended period of social distancing or self-isolation is movement.

Most people know that an active lifestyle is not only important for physical health, but also for our mental wellbeing. The relationship between physical and mental health appears to work both ways1, with increased physical activity resulting in better mental health and vice versa.

In fact, Professor Chris Whitty, the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, has said that physical activity is “very important” and staying active is “a very good thing to do” during this time.

And, although the space we have to move around in has changed, we can all find some way to stay active.

The starting point is changing the way we think about physical activity – it is not just exercise. It has multiple dimensions that we can take advantage of to gain the health benefits to our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. And, as you may have read in one of our recent blogs, physical activity doesn’t need to be strenuous to be effective. Even simple everyday movements, like doing the washing up by hand, can be beneficial.

People using the KiActiv® technology may see their physical activity level drop over this period, but that is okay. It is about doing what you can in the context of your condition, capacity and environment, which are all being affected by COVID-19. However, as we discussed above, it is really important to keep moving, and it will help us all manage this time as best we can, both physically and mentally. So, if you have access to your KiActiv® Dashboard, log on and engage with your data to explore what activities work for you (we’re still here and working if you have any problems or questions). If you’re not yet actively managing your everyday activity with KiActiv® we’ll be posting a short series of blogs on how to live well in isolation or while distancing.

So, each of us can choose what we want to do to optimise our physical activity and harness all of its protective and mood boosting properties. The key is to find out what “counts” for us. It could be anything from dancing around your living room to your favourite song or Spring cleaning the house, to doing a YouTube fitness class or going out for a walk or run in your local park. It could simply be getting up from your desk or sofa more frequently.

The KiActiv® Team