(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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vacuum sparks fire in Fernwood basement

Crews extinguish small fire in Empress Avenue home

Victoria Humane Society takes revenue hit after donation bins vandalized

Organization removes clothing donation bins after contents removed, scattered

First Nations market fills Colwood’s Royal Beach

Event Wednesday in honour of Orange Shirt Day

Lamborghini driver slapped with nearly $1,000 in fines while speeding in Central Saanich

Vehicle impounded by Central Saanich police, 11 points issued

Man arrested after speeding to Victoria court date for driving offence

West Shore RCMP remind drivers to be mindful of construction zones

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Ahead of likely second wave, 60% of Canadians relaxing COVID-19 measures

Proportion of Canadians not following safety measures has dropped by 3 per cent in the past two weeks

Canada’s population tops 38 million, even as COVID-19 pandemic slows growth

Immigration, the top population driver, decreased due to the pandemic

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Shawnigan Lake’s Kubica gets 25 to life for murder in California

Former Shawnigan Lake man convicted of killing woman in 1990

Pedestrian dies in motor vehicle incident along the highway near Nanaimo Airport

Police investigating scene where 37-year-old woman from Nanaimo died

Police seek help in naming Cowichan farm stand theft suspect

Video captured man prying cash box out of stand on Norcross Road

Most Read