COVID Impact on Morning Chalk Up Readers Fitness Routines Published in Academic Study
In May 2020, researchers, Dr. Cara Obocock from the University of Notre Dame and Dr. Katie Rose Hejtmanek from Brooklyn College at the City University of New York, reached out to the Morning Chalk Up and its readers, asking them to participate in a study on the impact of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders on their exercise routines and impact on their physical and mental wellbeing.
Obocock is a former powerlifter, while Hejtmanek competes in Olympic weightlifting (and is an IWF Masters World Champion) as well as CrossFit.
One big thing: It will be no surprise to Morning Chalk Up readers that the results revealed that while not being able to go to gyms, fitness centers and CrossFit boxes negatively affected individuals’ physical and mental health.
- However, and this is the key finding, athletes who were part of a “formal fitness community,” for example, a CrossFit box, fared significantly better than individuals who were involved in less formal fitness communities, working out alone in a globo gym, for example.
Some details: Obocock and Hejtmanek found that formal communities, like CrossFit boxes, found ways to maintain community engagement by shifting to online classes and loaning out gym equipment.
- More importantly, CrossFit affiliate owners and coaches tapped into the legacy of CrossFit–preparing for the unknown and unknowable–to keep their communities engaged and active
Learn more: The first article,“Missing the Gym: COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Orders and Formal Fitness Communities” was published in Anthropology Now in August 2022.
- The second article, “‘I feel terrible and need to exercise to find any sort of joy’: What COVID stay-at-home orders tell us about exercise as vitality politics and entertainment in the United States” was published in the Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology in December of 2022.
- A third article from the study will be published in a book titled, Gender and Power in Strength Sports in April or May 2023.
The bottom line: While CrossFitters definitely experienced these things anecdotally in 2020, this academic study provides insights and data grounded in scientific study. And, as always, we at the Morning Chalk Up and the researchers themselves appreciate your participation and passion for this community.