Lifestyle coach Cedric Rachmad also sees the consequences of the corona measures in people’s weight, freedom of movement and mental state. “Corona magnifies everything. The problems were often already there, but are now more visible.” Clients also have many questions about the virus, their health, and solutions. “We are creatures of habit: if you normally cycle to work and now work at home, you move less. People almost always try to organize their day from an efficiency point of view and then spend less time outside.”
Yesterday a new customer reported to Rachmad. A 55-year-old woman who is overweight. “She’s been gaining weight since corona, and is struggling to get moving. She only does that twice a week.”
According to the lifestyle coach, people know that obesity can be dangerous for corona. “I guide them to create awareness. We don’t just look at nutrition and exercise. Why is also important.”
The indirect effects of covid-19 are also significant: regular care has (temporarily) been less accessible, lifestyle is changing and corona measures impede social life, according to RIVM.
Based on the results of the questionnaires from the RIVM and the national GGD GHOR, the researchers advise that, in future corona measures, more account is taken of vulnerable population groups such as less educated people, young people, the elderly and people with underlying health problems.
They want to focus more on prevention and attention to mental health. “The most important lesson that emerges from the research is that pressure on mental health is increasing, and loneliness and feelings of anxiety are increasing. The best way to do something about this is social connections and encounters,” says a researcher from the RIVM.
The researchers also came across positive effects of the corona restrictions. For example, the elderly have become more digitally skilled and, according to the RIVM, working from home leaves more room for “self-management and family time”.