Pandemic increases use of image and performance enhancing drugs

During lockdown, University of Hertfordshire researchers asked over 3,000 people from seven different countries, including the UK, about their exercise habits, use of image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs) and the feelings they have towards their appearance.

  • (down icon) The number of people who never exercised at the gym or undertook an exercise class, either online or live, increased by 51%.
  • (down icon) 54% went from exercising frequently to never exercising, suggesting a lack of engagement with online and home workouts.
  • (up icon) Outdoor running and cycling more than twice a week increased by 38%. Walking for a min. 30-minutes on more than two occasions a week increased by 70%, while 10-minute minimum walks 7 days a week increased by 23%.
  • (up icon) But sitting for more than 8 hours a day increased by 43.6% on weekdays and 121.0% at weekends.
  • (up icon) 32.2% of participants reported their body mass increased, with 39% reporting an increase in food intake.

Online study conducted with 818 UK participants during the first national lockdown, led by Lindsy Kass, Sport, Health and Exercise Research Group, University of Hertfordshire.