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People who had poor health status before the COVID-19 pandemic were more likely to make unfavorable changes to their lifestyle during the pandemic.
This article discusses the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on health-related lifestyle. The authors found that people who had poor health status before the pandemic were more likely to make unfavourable changes to their lifestyle during the pandemic. These changes included decreased vegetable consumption, decreased leisure-time physical activity, and increased sleeping problems. The authors suggest that these changes may be due to a number of factors, including stress, anxiety, and social isolation. They recommend that targeted health promotion actions are needed to prevent these unfavourable developments in vulnerable population groups.
The study was conducted in Finland and included a total of 3834 participants aged 25-69 years. The participants were asked about their lifestyle habits in 2017 and again in 2020. The results showed that people who had poor health status in 2017 were more likely to have made unfavourable changes to their lifestyle in 2020. These changes included decreased vegetable consumption, decreased leisure-time physical activity, and increased sleeping problems.
The authors suggest that these changes may be due to a number of factors, including stress, anxiety, and social isolation. They point out that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a stressful time for many people, and that stress can lead to unhealthy lifestyle choices. They also suggest that social isolation may have contributed to the changes in lifestyle, as people have been less able to participate in regular activities and social gatherings during the pandemic.
The authors recommend that targeted health promotion actions are needed to prevent these unfavourable developments in vulnerable population groups. They suggest that these actions could include providing support and resources to people who are struggling with stress and anxiety, and encouraging people to stay active and connected with others.
Poor health status before the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with unfavourable changes in health-related lifestyle
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, doi:10.1177/14034948231163960
Aims: The effects of COVID-19 containment measures on health-related lifestyle have been both favourable and unfavourable for health. Factors predisposing to unfavourable changes are still poorly known. In this short communication, we aimed to examine which socioeconomic and health-related factors predicted unfavourable lifestyle changes based on data from the same individuals before (2017) the pandemic and during the second wave (2020) of the pandemic in Finland. Methods: This individual-level follow-up study was based on a nationally representative, two-stage stratified cluster sample of Finnish adults from the FinHealth 2017 Study, conducted in Spring 2017, and its follow-up survey, conducted in Autumn 2020. A total of 3834 men and women aged 25-69 years at baseline had information of selected lifestyle factors (vegetable consumption, leisure-time physical activity, sleeping problems and nightmares) available at both time points. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for unfavourable lifestyle changes (yes/no) according to socioeconomic and health-related factors were calculated using logistic regression models taking into account the sampling design and non-response. Results: We found that those having poor health (i.e. psychological distress, poor self-rated health or chronic diseases) or disadvantaged socioeconomic background before the pandemic were prone to unfavourable lifestyle changes during the follow-up. Conclusions: Observed unfavourable lifestyle changes in vulnerable population groups may accelerate health inequalities. Targeted health promotion actions are needed to prevent this unfavourable development.
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