How the Pandemic Lifestyle Impacts Bladder Health
How the Pandemic Lifestyle Impacts Bladder Health
By Aleece Fosnight, Medical Advisor to Aeroflow Urology Staff

The beginning of the pandemic caused a massive shift in society that forced Americans to operate every part of their life strictly from home. From gyms and offices closing their doors, to social interactions becoming few and far between, Americans' overall way of life changed and subsequently, so has their health. While it has been more than two years since the pandemic began this shift in society and many have returned to work, many Americans still operate largely out of their homes and  aspects of pandemic life have left long-lasting effects on individuals that we are seeing today.

To understand where the pandemic impacted individuals’ health, Aeroflow Urology surveyed 2,501 remote workers asking how the pandemic specifically affected their bladder health. The findings were significant, as almost half of the respondents say they urinate more throughout the day since the start of the pandemic. Respondents reported a significant decrease in physical activity, which leads to incontinence and the possibility of numerous other bladder issues.

Consider these findings:

  • 74% of respondents stated they find themselves sitting for longer periods of time than before the pandemic, with 40% indicating they are sitting for seven or more hours a day.
  • 41% of respondents state they exercise less now than before the pandemic.
  • Nearly half (43%) of respondents report a decreased level of physical activity has increased the amount of times they urinate during the day.
  • 53% said they are urinating more than 6 times in 24 hours.

Ways to prioritize bladder health following pandemic lifestyle changes

Since a sedentary lifestyle clearly correlates to an overactive bladder (OAB), which is a form of incontinence where you experience numerous and frequent urges to urinate throughout the day and night, symptoms can be subdued through physical activity, bladder training, incontinence products etc.

When working from home or just relaxing at home for the day, individuals should always try to break up their day with a form of physical activity. This could simply be an at-home workout, a walk around the neighborhood, or even exercises they can do from the comfort of their desk. Increasing movement throughout the day will help with symptoms of incontinence and improve and strengthen your bladder.

It is also recommended to train one’s bladder by not relieving oneself every time they  feel the urge to urinate. Try to hold it – even if it’s only a couple minutes. The more this is practiced , the time between each urination will increase and urges will subsequently decrease. Alleviating stress on the  pelvic floor will also significantly help manage incontinence and any uncomfortability around an overactive bladder. Frequently practicing pelvic floor exercises and movements will help improve overall bladder function and release any pain in the area. As stated above, taking breaks throughout the day to walk around, stretch and exercise or while standing to  place an emphasis on your posture will also  take the pressure off of your pelvic floor.  Remember, a sedentary lifestyle can also lead to constipation which has a direct correlation to bladder health.  Constipation can cause increased pressure on the bladder increasing the urgency to void and/or making it more difficult to evacuate the bladder completely.

Importance of prioritizing bladder health

As remote work sticks around and individuals continue to operate in a post-pandemic lifestyle, it is more important than ever to prioritize bladder health before any more serious urinary issues occur. A lack of movement or living a sedentary lifestyle causes constant pressure on the bladder. Which ultimately increases the urge to urinate and will get worse as one gets older.

As shown in the survey, physical activity is beneficial for urinary health as remote work becomes more permanent. If there is no movement throughout the day, urges and frequency of urination increase. Those surveyed stated that they sit longer and workout less than their pre-pandemic lifestyle. It is now time for bladder health to be taken seriously before other urinary issues arise.

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