One in three adults experienced declining mental health in past year – how to improve it

The NHS has described the wave of mental health cases arriving as a result of COVID-19 as a “second pandemic”. Minds young and old have been hit hard by two years of uncertainty, anxiety, loss, and doubt. Now the UK has lifted all restrictions as part of its Living With Covid plan, scientists and doctors are beginning to observe the extent of the nation’s mental health. A new survey conducted by Nuffield Health has revealed just how many adults are suffering.

According to their data, Nuffield Health says one third of adults say their mental health has deteriorated in the past year.

37 percent of adults say they’re more concerned about their mental health due to Covid while 40 percent are worried about their physical state.

Furthermore, it was found although more people are suffering from mental health issues, nearly half, 42 percent, said they spent no time looking after it.

The survey also highlighted the reduction in physical health over the past year; 15 percent of respondents said they had not done any exercise.

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The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes, or two and a half hours, of exercise a week.

More than 85 percent of respondents did not meet the minimum exercise threshold.

On average people in Britain engage in just 40 minutes of exercise per week.

Emotional wellbeing lead at Nuffield Health Gosia Bowling said: “The findings are a stark warning that as an industry and society we need to boost our activity levels in order to counteract the mental and physical health crisis we are facing after two years of pandemic.”

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Bowling adds that just five minutes of exercise a day “will put people on a pathway back to good health, overcoming the initial barrier of getting started and helping develop better habits.”

This isn’t to suggest a person should just do 35 minutes of exercise a week, more it is to say five minutes a day is a good base to start from to improve mental and physical health.

When a person exercises their body releases endorphins leading to an improvement in mood.

Furthermore, exercise leads to improved fitness further helping boost the mood of the individual in question.

A recent study found cyclists are 23 percent less likely to suffer a premature death.

This applied to casual cyclists, those who used their bicycles for commuting and errands rather than those who used it for purely fitness related purposes.

Two hours and 10 minutes per week was seen as the minimum required to increase life expectancy.

Cycling’s life-extending properties came from rider’s improvements in cardiovascular fitness.

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