(File photo)

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.

Coronavirusmental health

Just Posted

Oak Bay High students do their best for COVID-19 Tour de Rock

Cops for Cancer riders set finish a different kind of Tour de Rock

Happy Buddha pot shop going ahead, but with a new name

Sidney reverses position, will allow town’s first cannabis retailer to set up shop downtown

Comox Valley Child Development Association introduces Telethon ambassador

Leo Larmand — clad in a headband and multi-colored shorts, standing atop… Continue reading

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson to stop 24-hour camping in city parks

Ban on ‘unsafe roadside panhandling’ to be enforced

One in custody after assault, barricade in Esquimalt Road residence

Victoria police closed down portion of the road Wednesday night during incident

Long-time Central Saanich councillor named NDP candidate for Saanich North and the Islands

King, who joins election campaign one week after its start, hopes to unseat Adam Olsen

Nanaimo RCMP investigating suspicious car fire in hospital area

Investigators believe vehicle on Thunderbird Drive was set alight with accelerant

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Most Read