With gyms closing and limits on personal training meaning staying active during restrictions has been a challenge for many Australians - the AIA Vitality COVID-19 Insights report has revealed that in the month of April the number of AIA Vitality members completing at least 7,500 steps (or equivalent) has reduced by 25 percent.
On a positive note, device activity has increased by 23 percent over the same period, meaning that people have been embracing technology when it comes to staying active in the safety and comfort of their home, taking advantage of at-home workouts and virtual classes.
More importantly, data has also shown that Vitality members who engage in physical activity are 50 percent more likely to report improved mental wellbeing and decreased feelings of stress – this is extremely important, particularly in times of uncertainty when our basic needs are under threat and this impacts our overall health and wellbeing.
The AIA Vitality Wellbeing Index has revealed that of all the states and territories, the ACT is performing best when it comes to meeting daily physical activity guidelines. It was also found that Canberrans took out the top spot for participating in organised sport and having the most people who used a bicycle for transport.
According to Professor Ian Hickie from The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre, an emphasis on physical activity is not only likely to have direct benefits in reducing depression levels but, very importantly, should minimise the increased risk of premature death or disability linked to cardiovascular diseases.