NEW YORK — While many people are climbing the walls to get back to normal as the Covid pandemic turns a corner, a new study finds some still have concerns about letting their guards down. In fact, nearly half of Americans are feeling anxious about resuming their pre-pandemic routines.
That’s according to a new survey of 2,000 Americans, which finds 46 percent worry about risking their health or the health of a loved one. Another four in 10 are unsure of how comfortable they’ll feel in public.
All work and no play
In the past year, 46 percent say they’ve struggled to balance their work and home lives and more than half of Americans (52%) are working longer hours. Four in 10 are now sitting for more than six hours a day. With 45 percent finding it challenging to find time for self-care, it’s no surprise people admit their physical health (53%) and mental health (48%) have declined.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Benefiber, the survey also examines people’s attitudes about rebalancing wellness routines during this readjustment period, while taking a closer look at the potential impact of these changes on overall wellness and gut health. Although two in three Americans (67%) believe they have been able to eat healthier within the past year, 35 percent percent worry they’ll make unhealthy choices while eating out after resuming their pre-pandemic routines. Three in 10 are concerned they’ll exercise less once they go back to work or start leaving their home more.
However, some Americans are feeling more positive about the future, with 37 percent expecting to travel more over the next six months and nearly half (47%) excited to see family and friends in-person again.
While seven in 10 (71%) believe a balanced and healthy gut can help maintain general health and well-being, nearly half the poll (49%) say they’re not proactive in managing their digestive health. Additionally, 57 percent don’t believe or are unsure if they consume the recommended amount of fiber each day.
More than half of Americans have experienced an increase in digestive problems in the past year
Two-thirds of respondents say they’ve begun using health supplements during the pandemic. When asked which supplements they used in their overall wellness routines, the results show that fewer than two in 10 Americans have incorporated prebiotic fiber into their wellness routines. This comes even though six in 10 believe adding a prebiotic can help contribute to overall gut health.
Additionally, one in five admitted to not understanding the benefits resulting from incorporating a prebiotic fiber into their diet, with eight in 10 revealing added stress is causing an increase in their digestive problems. In fact, nearly 60 percent of Americans reported they are more familiar with probiotics than prebiotics. Moreover, a third of Americans believe prebiotics are the same as probiotics.
“As people readjust to their normal routines, it can take some time for their gut to catch up,” explains Emma Venditti, Brand Manager for Benefiber, in a statement. “Increased stress along with activities such as traveling and dining out after a prolonged absence disrupt the gut’s comfort as much as your own.”
The past year has definitely given people food for thought when it comes to their overall wellness. Three in five say they’ve become more proactive about their immune health.
“Improving your daily habits by eating fiber-rich foods such as whole grains (as well as consuming less alcohol) can contribute to a healthier gut since fiber helps maintain a diverse community of microorganisms in your gut by feeding the good bacteria (probiotics),” adds Keri Glassman, Celebrity Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and founder of Nutritious Life.