Pandemic harmed health for more than 70% of people, Life Time survey shows

There is no denying that 2020, and the pandemic that came along with it, was difficult for many people — financially, mentally and physically.

Life Time wanted to get a gauge on how bad that toll was, and if "numbers don’t lie," it was big.

After asking more than 1,200 of its current and former members, Life Time found that more than 70% of those surveyed said the pandemic had a negative impact on their health.

The top reasons for the rough year include:

  • Overall stress from the pandemic
  • The closure of gyms
  • Working from home leading to less motivation to exercise

“It’s been really tough on folks trying to maintain a healthy way of life isolated,” Kerry Sutherland, a senior general manager with Life Time, said.

Just as so many are, Sutherland and his team with Life Time are looking forward to a better year.

“I think hope is the big word,” he added. “I think that every time we get those restrictions and [then] loosen some, that does give us hope, that does give opportunities for people to get out and get back into their community.”

Minnesota health clubs are still not allowed to operate at 100%, but after push back from leaders in the health club community, and those who frequent them, Gov. Tim Walz loosened the state’s restrictions on clubs and gyms — they’re currently able to operate at 25%, with a max of 100 people, and all have to wear masks.

As rules lift, and more vaccines are administered, that ‘hope’ Sutherland mentioned is becoming more clear. The same survey highlighting the struggle also shows that more than 80% of people want to make a healthy goal for 2021.

Top goals include:

  • Focusing on weight loss
  • Building muscle
  • Improving mental health

And like we did with 2020 — one day at a time – 2021 can begin in a similar way.

“[Focusing on] ‘one positive action,’” Sutherland said. “Whether it’s an action around healthier eating, whether it’s an action around pain-free movement, or whether it’s doing something positive in your community.”