Study: Pandemic-Induced Habits Could Impact Urinary Continence

Nearly half of respondents said a decreased level of physical activity had increased the number of times they urinated during the day.

Habits fostered by the Covid-19 public health emergency shutdown have caused a higher frequency of urinating and an increase in the urge to urinate in respondents to a survey from national continence supply provider Aeroflow Urology.

The third-party administered survey was completed in April 2022 and polled 1,198 U.S. respondents who have been working remotely during the PHE.

The full survey results can be found here, but a key thrust of the results is that is that a correlation exists between reduced physical activity and urination, and that respondents are engaging in less physical activity due to work-at-home arrangements.

Some notable results:

  • Seventy-four percent of respondents stated they find themselves sitting for longer periods of time than before the pandemic, with 40 percent indicating they are sitting for seven or more hours a day.
  • Forty-one percent of respondents state they exercise less now than before the pandemic.
  • Nearly half (43 percent) of respondents report a decreased level of physical activity has increased the number of times they urinate during the day.
  • More than half of respondents (53 percent) report urinating six or more times per day, including at night.
  • More than two-in-five respondents (43 percent) have noticed that they are both emptying their bladder more now than before the pandemic and experiencing an increased urge to urinate more frequently in the last year.
  • Of the 617 respondents who contracted COVID-19, more than one-in-five (22 percent) noticed an increased urge to urinate since recovering.
  • More than one in four (25 percent) respondents have had to change their daily schedule to accommodate for frequent urination.

As remote work becomes less temporary and more permanent, the survey showed the importance of awareness of bladder health and the need to prioritize physical activity for the benefit of urinary health.

“Especially now, it’s important to prioritize bladder health before any more serious urinary issues occur,” said Aleece Fosnight, MSPAS, PA-C, CSC-S, CSE, NCMP, IF, medical advisor to Aeroflow Urology. “A lack of movement or living a sedentary lifestyle ultimately causes tissues to stretch from the constant force of our bodies sitting down. This increases the urge to empty the bladder, and only gets worse the older one gets.

“Living a predominantly inactive lifestyle leads to a rise in constipation, which creates a full abdomen,” continued. “The bladder is prevented from fully expanding and causes distress to those structures. This stretch in connective tissues, paired with an increase in constipation, eventually causes incontinence to occur and worsen if no changes in physical activity are made.”

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