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Social distancing and working from home help prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus but can be conducive to unhealthy behavior such as bingeing on fast food or spending more time in a chair or on a couch staring at a screen, and generally moving about less during the day.

Exercising at home

"It's important to be aware of the difference between insufficient levels of physical activity and sedentary behavior," Ciolac said. "An insufficiently active person is an individual who doesn't get the minimum amount of exercise recommended by the World Health Organization." The WHO recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week for adults aged 18-64.

Sedentary behavior, he continued, is associated with the time spent sitting, reclining or lying down. Research shows that watching television or working at a computer for long hours can be bad for the health of even physically active people. Those who are required to use a computer all day for their work should get up every 30 minutes or so to stretch their legs and get whatever light exercise is possible.

The UNESP group also recommend exercises using body weight to improve muscle tone, such as situps, pushups, squatting, and standing up from a chair, as well as aerobic exercises that can safely be performed near the home, such as walking, jogging and cycling. Meals should be as healthy as possible, with plenty of vegetables and fruit, avoiding processed foods.

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