State of the nation – how are we really feeling about our health?

As 2020 draws to a close, it comes as no surprise that most of us plan to breathe a sigh of relief as Big Ben’s bells chime at midnight on New Years Eve.

But with the corona chaos rumbling on and uncertainty still the order of the day, it seems appropriate to take stock of our health and wellbeing as we shift into 2021.
Rebecca McGoff, founder of Buump Active, said:  “2020 has thrown up many many challenges for mums. Pregnant women have had to go through appointments and stages of labour alone, new mums were not able to take their babies to classes to help with their social development -and their own mental wellbeing – and mums of young children were expected to become star educators as well as running a house, juggling work and looking after themselves. 
“It’s been a tough year for our nation’s army of amazing mothers, so it’s no wonder we are feeling drained, anxious and eager to leave 2020 behind.”

How are we really feeling about our physical health?

Although the lockdown periods were undoubtedly tough, they did lead to some interesting shifts in the nation’s attitudes to fitness. A recent Hearst report (which can be downloaded for free here) looked at both physical and mental health, and uncovered some surprisingly positive facts about our activity levels.

Data by Project Instant Insight Polls found that 53% of people polled agreed that the first lockdown had a positive impact on their fitness levels, while 58% said they were doing some or more exercise than before.  Further to that, Google Trends data indicated a 33% increase in searches for online exercise classes in the week after the gyms closed, and Google Play / Statista data said there had been a staggering 10 million fitness app downloads on Android devices alone.

Platforms such as our partner FIIT TV have been stand out success stories, with thousands more people tuning in for their PT-led online fitness classes during the year. 

Backing up this shift, Hearst’s own Instant Insight Polls indicated that 38% of people questioned had created a dedicated fitness space at home. 

Rebecca commented: “The shift to online exercise classes is not surprising, and more and more people have been discovering the amazing range of classes to be found on streaming services and platforms such as FIIT.

“We expect to see this trend expanding in 2021 to include the rise of remote coaching, where mums seek out personal trainers that can coach them via zoom or other video-led software.

“Any uptick in physical exercise can only be a good thing, and we hope that our army of mums can tap into this hive of resource – while still finding the time to exercise with friends and other mums outdoors when they can.”

Looking at the wider picture as a nation, celebs like Joe Wicks and initiatives like National Fitness Day also inspired a record number of people to get active. A staggering 19.1 million people were more active on National Fitness Day in 2020, smashing the campaign’s 10 million target and making it the most successful one to date.

How are we really feeling about our mental health?

Although the shift in life due to the pandemic has led to some surprisingly positive physical health trends, the same cannot – sadly – be said about our mental wellbeing.

Stats from the GWI have found that 1 in 3 of us are concerned about our mental health due to coronavirus, and with the government setting aside £5million for mental health charities, it’s clear that there is a need for us to take our mental wellbeing seriously. 

Hearst, which owns global titles for women including Women’s Health and Cosmopolitan, also found out that 47% of us say that the lockdown period had a negative affect on our mental health. 

Rebecca said: “The first Covid19 lockdown affected mums in very different ways. Some mums were lucky enough to have support at home, and more time as a family due to furloughed work positions. Many, however, were not that fortunate and have struggled alone with small children. Others have lost relatives or been severely affected financially by the loss of work or business. 

“We may have been in the same storm, but we were certainly not all in the same boat. With this in mind it’s no wonder that a large percentage of mums are feeling more anxious, or suffering from depression as a result of the pandemic. To back this up, MIND has declared this Christmas as a “mental health emergency”. 

“As we move to next year, we implore the UK’s mums to look after themselves and their wellbeing, and make it a priority for 2021. Most of all, we will always encourage mums to seek professional help when they need it, and reach out to family and friends if they are feeling lonely or overwhelmed.

“Next year, Buump Active’s plan to help active mums stay connected, stay informed and stay healthy and have lots of exciting new developments in the pipeline.  For now, we wish our followers, our users and all UK mums a happy and healthy Christmas, as we look forward to next year with an increased sense of resilience.”