As many as 85% of Poles plan to train more after the pandemic – indicates the MutliSport Index Pandemic survey conducted by Kantar on behalf of Benefit Systems. At the same time, 43% admit that during the epidemic they reduced their physical activity and the reason for this negative health change is usually the closure of sports facilities, which is indicated by as many as 35% of respondents. Immediately after reopening, 9.5 million of Poles intend to return to sports and recreation facilities.
Negative effects of decreased activity
Limiting physical activity of Poles during the pandemic, in addition to closing sports facilities (35%), was also caused by restrictions related to practising sports outdoors (20%) and lockdown (14%). Although the lockdown has been going on for two months, most people who have reduced their activity already feel the negative impact on their sports habits today, primarily on their wellbeing (74%), health (65%), as well as body shape (61%).
According to the recommendations of the World Health Organisation, adults should undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of intense physical activity per week for their own health and wellbeing. In many cases the pandemic has limited our ability to do so. However, there are also those who used this time in terms of sport – one in 10 people. A Polish person declares that he or she practices more during the epidemic. The increase in involvement is especially visible among people who engage in physical activity most often. Already 24% of active Poles play sports at least 5 times a week, which is 4% more than in January this year.
–During the epidemic, when 30% of Poles spend more than 7 hours a day in a sitting position, and nearly 40% have not taken any physical activity in the last 30 days, any form of exercise is better and safer for health than no exercise at all. That is why it is so important to be able to start exercising again in adapted sports facilities, as regular physical activity supports our health, improves our mood, immunity, and mental ability, and above all reduces the risk of diseases of affluence such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or depression, which are still the main causes of death in Poland. Already 20 minutes of brisk walking a day can reduce the risk of depression by 22%. In turn, lack of physical activity increases the likelihood of hypertension by 50% – emphasises Ernest Kuchar, Ph.D., specialist in infectious diseases and sports medicine from the Medical University of Warsaw.
Sport during the pandemic
During the pandemic, physically active Poles prefer cycling (36%). General development workouts that can be performed at home, such as gymnastics or aerobics, are increasingly popular. Currently, 28% of sports enthusiasts engage in them, which is 17% more than in January this year. Jogging (27%) and walking (26%) are the next activities on the Poles' preferences list.
- Online solutions that support an active and healthy lifestyle at home are of great importance in the current situation. Currently 32% of physically active Poles exercise by using instructional videos. We notice the growing interest in online workouts also among MultiSport Programme users who have done over 300,000 such workouts by the end of April. At the same time, the programme users and their employers expect sports facilities to reopen to be able to practice with their favourite instructors again, including in fitness clubs – emphasises Adam Radzki.
Currently 61% of Poles over 18 years of age are physically active. This means that they undertake a recreational form of exercise, including walking or cycling for transport purposes, at least once a month. The biggest motivation to engage in physical activity is pleasure and relaxation (31%), followed by health (28%) and the desire to stay fit (21%).
The MultiSport Index Pandemic survey was conduced by Kantar commissioned by Benefit Systems (the creator of the MultiSport Programme) on a representative random sample of 1,000 Poles over 18 years of age. The survey was conducted using computer-aided telephone interview technique (CATI) between 23 and 30 April 2020.