Survey: Nearly half of Americans say they experienced changes in physical, mental health amid pandemic

Expert says those struggling include women, people under age 35, families with $50K annual income

Survey measures impact of pandemic on Americans' physical, mental health

Nearly half of Americans said they’ve experienced changes in their physical and mental health during the pandemic, according to the 2021 Healthy Now survey from the Cleveland Clinic and Parade Magazine.

“While the majority of Americans are doing well in terms of their health, there’s still room for improvement, and some of the things we should focus on are mental health, sleep, diet, physical activity -– the cornerstones of preventive health,” said Dr. Neha Vyas with Cleveland Clinic. “There are certain groups that we need to pay particular attention to because they are really struggling, and those are women, our young adults under the age of 35, our families whose total annual income is less than $50,000.”

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Thirty-seven percent of people report that they often went a full day without speaking to anyone in person or by the phone. That number was 45% in those under age 35.

“Now that many of us have been vaccinated and many of the states have opened up again, it’s important to remember to communicate with people and to interact with them in real time. We need those interactions,” Vyas said.

Social media is making matter worse for some people. Thirty percent said they feel depressed, inadequate or left out after spending time on social media.

But many are getting more exercise.

More than two-thirds walk at least 30 minutes a day. However, nearly 70% are sitting for more than six hours daily.

While 81% report trying to eat more vegetables, less than half said they eat at least one green veggie every day.

Additionally, many Americans have fallen behind on their health care and skipped check-ups and screenings. Sixty-five percent said they feel more comfortable visiting their doctor now. Healthcare providers are encouraging people to make their appointments.

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About the Author:

You can watch Kimberly Gill weekdays anchoring Local 4 News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. and streaming live at 10 p.m. on Local 4+. She's an award-winning journalist who finally called Detroit home in 2014. Kim has won Regional Emmy Awards, and was part of the team that won the National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast in 2022.