CORNWALL, Ontario – Physiotherapist Jenny Lee of In-Home Therapeutics says she is seeing the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is taking on physical health.
The pandemic has seen options for physical activity dwindle as lockdowns have encouraged many to stay at home and has closed fitness centres such as gyms and recreation centres. Lee explained that this has had an impact on many of her clients, who she said have regressed in their physical capacity.
“I haven’t had many patients who have not experienced some sort of regression,” Lee said.
Patients Lee works with are often participants in some sort of physical rehabilitation program for injuries or strokes.
Lee told Seaway News that In-Home Therapeutics has worked with dozens of patients this year who have experienced some sort of physical regression.
In-Home Therapeutics has added eight or nine new staff members over the past year, including four physiotherapists and one kinesiologist.
With gyms and recreational facilities being closed, many do not have the opportunities to stay physically active or to get guidance on their workout routines, and Lee said that substitutes like YouTube videos do not always work for everyone.
“There is no one-size fits all for exercise,” Lee said.
Lee explained that the physical regression she is seeing is not just limited to those who need physical rehabilitation and said that she has done ergonomic assessments of home offices to better promote physical wellness of those working from home.
“We are seeing a lot of back and neck pain,” she said. “People are just sitting . . . the best thing for back pain is exercise.”
Lee wants to raise awareness about this problem of physical regression and the dangers of the lack of physical activity poses.
“Just because you are stuck at home doesn’t mean you have to throw your fitness goals out the window,” said Lee.
Lee also wants members of the public to be aware of this issue, and check in on neighbours and loved ones, especially seniors.
“I would encourage people to reach out to older family members and neighbours to see how they are doing,” Lee said.