(Piqsels)

UBC study seeks to learn if at-home workout apps improve health during pandemic

Trial will give people access to yoga, HIIT or barre training

Although gyms and fitness facilities have begun to reopen in parts of Canada, including B.C., some Canadians are finding it harder to exercise consistently throughout the pandemic.

The developers of Down Dog, an San Francisco app that provides yoga, high intensity interval training (HIIT), made their programs free when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The app is once again available at a cost, but it caught the eye of University of B.C. assistant professor Eli Puterman, who is also the Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Health.

“I downloaded it for free and I started working out with it. I was like ‘oh my God, this is amazing,” Puterman told Black Press Media by phone. He found it helpful not just physically but mentally as well, especially while in the middle of a global pandemic. A study released by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health on Wednesday (June 17) found that between one-fifth and one-quarter of Canadians felt anxious, depressed or lonely during the pandemic.

He contacted Down Dog to set up the trial, which will give participants a free membership for three months.

“We’ll be randomizing people who are currently physically distancing and working from home to either yoga intervention, a high intensity interval training intervention, a combination of the two or a control group.”

The researchers, working from the Fitness, Aging, and Stress Lab at UBC, hope to measure levels of distress, depression and overall wellbeing. Participants will need to perform four workouts every week, each lasting 20 minutes, for six weeks.

Puterman said that after the initial six-week study period, the control group will also get access to the app, as researchers spend the second six weeks following up with participants.

In order to be eligible for the trial, participants must live in Canada, be between 18 and 64 years old and currently exercise less than 150 minutes per week. For more information, visit https://www.copetrial.ca.

RAED MORE: Can-do attitude gives way to anxiety, despair for many amid COVID-19 burnout

READ MORE: Canadians feel more anxious, drink more alcohol, eat more junk food amid pandemic


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusFitnessmental health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read