Keep other health risks at bay

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KATHMANDU: It’s been over one-and-a half months that we’ve been staying indoors since the government imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 24 to curb the spread of COV- ID-19. Yet there are many downsides to the lockdown as it has brought about drastic changes in people’s lifestyle.

Although some are exploring hobbies to keep themselves fit, not everyone is doing so — many people are excessively using smartphones affecting their sleep patterns while others are eating more than usual and not doing any physical activity.

“There are many consequences of unhealthy habits as it affects our physical and mental health,” points out Dr Rabindra Pandey, a public health specialist.

“The lockdown has changed the normal eating and sleeping patterns of many. Many are overeating at home and this is increasing their cholesterol level. Overeating makes people obese, and as if they do not involve in physical activities, this can increase the risk of chronic and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, blood pressure, fatty liver, et cetera,” he warns.

Dr Pandey speculates there will be an increased number of people with mental illness if the current situation prolongs either because of the fear of COVID-19 or other reasons.

He suggests maintaining one’s reproductive health during the lockdown as many people may have been having unwanted pregnancies while many may be using birth control pills frequently which can lead to hormonal imbalances.

The majority of people are addicted to smartphones and watch movies all day long, even till late into the night. “Such an addiction will get you in trouble when you go to normal life after lockdown.

And such habits take a toll on your eyes,” he says. Continuously looking down into the mobile phone for a long time can cause neck bone inflammation, he cautions.

Internet addiction is also making people idle as it is killing their other interests in addition to reducing their intellectuality, creativity, memory, concentration and learning power, as per him.

He recommends scheduling activities in a balanced way to regulate unhealthy habits and maintain physical, mental, social and spiritual health to stay healthy.

“International researchers have said even if the strict lockdown ends, the world will have to stay in semi-lockdown for one to two years. So, we have to be mentally prepared and adopt a healthy lifestyle,” he says.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 7, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.


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