In a study involving 34 women aged 50-70, researchers at the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil performed objective measurements of the impact on the subjects' health of the decrease in physical activity observed during the period of social distancing and isolation imposed by COVID-19. Tests conducted after the first 16 weeks of confinement pointed to a deterioration in their overall health, including loss of muscle strength and diminished aerobic capacity, as well as elevated levels of cholesterol and glycated hemoglobin, both of which are risk factors for metabolic disorders.
The study was supported by São Paulo Research Foundation - FAPESP and reported in an article published in the journal Experimental Gerontology.
"It's important to stress that these women were already considered physically inactive before the pandemic, in the sense that they didn't exercise regularly. With confinement, they became even more sedentary, abandoning such activities as walking the dog, going shopping, playing with grandchildren, walking to the bus stop, or walking to work," Carlos Bueno Junior, last author of the article, told. Bueno Junior is a professor at the University of São Paulo's Ribeirão Preto School of Physical Education and Sports (EEFERP-USP).