There’s no escaping the fact that life has changed dramatically over the past couple of months. So, Myprotein decided to research how our health habits have changed.
We commissioned a YouGov survey of over 1500 Americans, looking into whether people are exercising more, eating healthier, and what concerns people the most during this time.
Here’s what we found:
- 62% of Americans have changed their eating habits
- 56% of Americans report a concern with their health.
- 16-24-year-olds most affected in their sleep.
82 Million Americans Are Exercising Daily
Many of us now have far more free time than we’re used to, so it’s no surprise that Americans are exercising more. Over a quarter claim to be now exercising at least once a day, with some actually adding in more workouts weekly.
We’re also showing a huge demand for online workouts, the term ‘workout’ saw a 155% increase in Google searches from April 2019 to April 2020.
Nearly 1 in 4 Americans say that they are getting workout inspiration from YouTube. YouTube saw searches for the term ‘workout’ rise by 224%, as Americans look for a form of motivation.
The graphs below show how often Americans exercise pre and post-lockdown. There’s a clear shift to daily exercise, with the low workout frequency declining.
Missing The Gym? You’re Not Alone…
With gyms closed, if you’re suffering from the gym blues, we understand. 75% of gym-goers miss at least one thing about the gym, whether that be the workout equipment, socializing with friends, or attending gym classes.
However, there are ways to keep on top of your health at home and many of us are searching for alternatives online. In fact, over half of gym-goers are now using Apps especially made for exercise and workouts to keep spirits and motivation up.
Once you’ve dug out that motivation, you might be thinking about what you can work out with. As it turns out, Americans are pretty creative when it comes to our workouts, but we still occasionally like to rely on the old faithful dumbbells.
In fact, over 50% of American gym-goers admit to using ordinary household items to help them workout. While 41% own dumbbells or are even lucky enough to have their own cardio machine.
Northeast Most Stressed About Health
Many of us are concerned right now, especially with our health. 63% of Americans in the Northeast have at least one health concern, with our diet suffering being the top worry. The next three major health concerns come as no shock for fitness enthusiasts, losing strength, losing muscle mass, and losing cardio ability.
Surprisingly, the older you are, the more likely you are to not be concerned with your health. In fact, according to our survey, 52% of Americans aged 55 and up reported a lack of concern for their health in the COVID-19 environment in contrast with those aged between 16 and 24 years old in which 67% reported being concerned with their health.
Myprotein nutritionist, Jennifer Blow, adds: ‘Being concerned about your diet right now is completely natural. When we’re bored or stressed, people often find themselves reaching for snacks (rather than making something fresh and nutritious). This could be the time to learn how to cook a new dish or get into batch-cooking, so you’re never left wondering what the next meal is and snacking on the first thing you see. Know your cravings and plan your shopping around healthier ingredients and snacks – particularly those that are high in protein or fiber that will keep you feeling fuller for longer, such as nuts, eggs, beans, and other pulses.’
Let’s break it down a little into regions. Our top worrier is Northeast — nearly ⅔ of Americans have a concern — while the Midwest and South are the most relaxed regions in the United States, with 53% and 52% having a concern. The West falls shortly behind the Northeast, where 58% have at least one health concern.
The heat map below highlights which regions are most concerned with their health.
New York Revealed As The Most Stressed State
Our survey also analysed all 50 states across the US to discover which state was the most stressed.
We then used this data to create the US state stressed scale, looking at the following three factors.
- Interest in-home workout videos
- Searches for at-home meditation
- Survey results for health concerns
The data revealed that New York is the most stressed state in the whole of the country due to high searches in meditation and home workouts, alongside a 63% concern in general health.
|Rank||State||% With Health Concerns (Survey)||Search Volume ‘Home Workouts’||Search Volume ‘Meditation’||Overall Score|
We ranked each element e.g. survey results, by highest to lowest giving the highest % the highest score and the lowest % the lowest score. The overall score is, therefore, the sum of each element ranked, giving the most stressed city, based on the 3 metrics.
Younger Generations Report Worse Sleep Quality
Moving on to sleeping habits, the smallest impact was on the younger generation, who saw themselves getting more sleep, although nearly ⅓ said that the quality of their sleep has gotten worse. 42% of Americans who’s eating habits have become less healthy also said the quality of their sleep had gotten worse. Not getting good quality sleep can have a detrimental effect on your health — besides just feeling exhausted. If you find yourself to be one of these people, try doing a weekly workout as those who exercise more frequently report a better sleep quality.
Splitting the population into age groups, the older generations were more likely to say they haven’t experienced changes to their sleeping habits. Those aged 55 or older said they haven’t experienced any change, with 50% saying there has been no change in their sleeping pattern.
From the Silent Generation to Gen Z’s, all ages found themselves getting more sleep. Although the majority said that the sleep that they are getting is worse. 25-34-year-olds were the only age group to see an even split of better and worse quality sleep.
1 in 5 Americans Taking More Immune System Support Supplements
When it comes to supporting our immune health, 1 in 5 Americans takes more supplements now than pre-lockdown to keep their immune system in top condition. Delving deeper into this, just under 1 in 10 are now taking much more than they used to. This comes at no surprise with the majority of us reporting a concern for our health and well-being.
With Northeast the most stressed about their health, it also makes sense that the region saw the biggest increase in taking immune support supplements. Nearly 1 in 4 Americans from the Northeast reported taking more than they used to, closely followed by the West where 23% also reported taking more to support their health.
Take Home Message
Have you seen changes like this to your health? The current lockdown is affecting many of us in different ways, whether that’s getting a sufficient amount of sleep, exercising frequently, or ensuring you’re on top of your recommended vitamin daily dose. One thing’s for certain, looking after our own health has never been so important.