How COVID-19 lockdown affected the heart
A new study published on the preprint server medRxiv * in August 2020 shows that heart rate variability assessments, used to evaluate the health of the heart and blood vessels, are useful in identifying changes in health and well being throughout lockdown related to COVID-19.
Lockdown and Loss of Physical Activity
As the COVID-19 pandemic spread in France, a lockdown was declared, and it stayed in place for eight weeks, from March 17 to May 11, 2020. While instituted as a necessary and lifesaving measure, its fallout cannot be ignored. For instance, it led to restrictions on outdoors and group activity, which probably reduced the general tendency to physical activity.
Indeed, a survey by a French public health institute showed that almost half the population said their physical exercise had been reduced, and about 60% of them said they walked less. On average, over 7 hours were spent just sitting, for over a third of the population. Only less than a fifth reported increased activity during this period.