(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

A man was arrested at a Nanaimo convenience store last week for challenging customers to fights. (News Bulletin file photo)
‘Shadow boxing’ Nanaimo man arrested after challenging convenience store customers to fights

Man spends night in a cell at Nanaimo RCMP detachment, released without charges

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party’s climate action platform at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. Greens say minority government can best address ‘overlapping crises’

Furstenau talks to the News Bulletin about coalitions, old-growth forests and ferries

Two men were stranded on Snake Island after their small boat was blown away by strong winds Wednesday. (News Bulletin file photo)
Boat blows away, stranding fishermen on Snake Island in the strait near Nanaimo

Marine search and rescue team picked up men on windy afternoon Wednesday

Surveillance image of a suspect in a break-and-enter in Nanoose Bay on Oct. 20. (Submitted photo)
Suspect in Nanoose Bay uses garage door opener to get into home, takes keys, steals truck

Oceanside RCMP ask for public’s help to try to identify suspect

Our Home on 8th, the Port Alberni Shelter that opened in March 2019, has 27 extra ‘extreme weather’ spaces for people who need a place to get out of the cold. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BC VOTES 2020: Mid-Island candidate plans occupation of shelter to protest homelessness

Graham Hughes says homeless situation a ‘crisis’ in Port Alberni

Candidates in the Nanaimo riding include Kathleen Jones, B.C. Liberal Party, top left; Sheila Malcolmson, NDP; Lia Versaevel, Green Party. (Photos submitted/News Bulletin photo/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Parksville-Qualicum riding include Rob Lyon, B.C. Green Party, top left; Don Purdey, Conservatives; John St. John, independent; Michelle Stilwell, B.C. Liberals; and Adam Walker, B.C. NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Parksville-Qualicum candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding include Chris Istace, B.C. Green Party, top left; Duck Paterson, B.C. Liberals; and Doug Routley, NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo-North Cowichan candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a woman who allegedly threw hot coffee on a McDonald’s employee. (News Bulletin photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP still looking for woman who threw coffee at worker after already receiving refund

Police asking for information in investigation that could lead to assault charges

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for parts of Vancouver Island for Thursday and Friday.(File photo)
Snowfall expected in parts of Vancouver Island this week

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for north, east and inland Vancouver Island

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Most Read