Stay home has become a familiar slogan across the country, though it might be subtitled “stay in shape”. As Britons adjust to a different daily routine, many are taking the opportunity to stay, or get fit.
However, many are suffering a few unintended consequences, including personal injuries. Partly it’s a result of taking their allotted time for exercise without proper preparation or supervision.
Away from the rules and guidance of the gym and personal trainers, those keen to keep fit during their confinement are suffering from muscle and ligament strains.
Data shows a sharp rise in injury-related internet searches, including those commonly associated with home exercise and running, since Boris Johnson announced the stay home lockdown on 23 March.
Google searches for knee pain have increased 471% and 267% for sprained ankles, according to research by fitness initiative fit4thefight.
Online queries for low back pain have increased by 157% as Britons use incorrect form and posture for home workouts, which includes squats and lunges. Searches for solutions to press-up pain were also at a 12-month high, with poor technique likely to increase the strain on joints.
The data also shows an increase in searches for shin splints, up 194% and for pulled muscles by 80%, as Brits do their own unguided workouts using makeshift equipment.
The popularity of home workouts led by Joe Wicks has seen a wave of new people exercise from home while friends and family challenge each other to take part in exercise and donate to charity via social media.
A significant reason for the rise in searches is people stay away from hospital A&E because of pressures on staff and fears of infection.
As a result, A&E departments recorded their lowest attendance in a decade during Marchas the public turn to the internet to diagnose their medical problems and injuries before contacting a medical professional.
Anthony Franklin, founder and CEO of fit4thefight, said: “It is great to see millions of Britons increasing the amount of exercise they do while observing lockdown rules.
“However, the lack of guidance from professionals and equipment means that the level of injuries has surged.”