The COVID-19 pandemic has created a cyclical public health problem by both exacerbating mental health challenges and making it more difficult for people to maintain physical activity, suggests a recent multi-state study.

The study also revealed that lower-income households struggled more with both mental health challenges and maintaining physical activity levels.

These findings were written in the paper ‘Examining the relationship between physical activity and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic across five U.S. States’, and have been published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports.

“We know that physical activity is important for helping people maintain their mental health, but this study reveals the unforgiving cycle that the pandemic has imposed on many people,” said Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, co-author of the study and an associate professor of agricultural and human sciences at North Carolina State University.

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