ENCORE: The Role Lifestyle Plays in Enhancing Resilience, Part 1


The Covid pandemic should’ve served as a wake-up call, highlighting our vulnerabilities as a nation. Ross Arena, Ph.D., professor of physical therapy at the University of Illinois Chicago, is spearheading a bold initiative called HL-PIVOT to underscore the role that healthy lifestyle plays in enhancing resilience. He is lead author of a new paper that demonstrates the roles that obesity, poor diet, smoking, and inadequate sleep play in setting the stage for poor Covid outcomes. Instead of a pandemic, he argues that we’re experiencing a “syndemic”—a perfect storm of chronic diseases that in themselves exact a terrible toll of chronic illness, but at the same time render Americans more susceptible to Covid. The surprising disparity between US regions with healthier, more active populations versus sedentary precincts within “food deserts” spotlights the important role lifestyle plays as a mediator of Covid severity. Arena argues that this has important social justice implications, with underserved populations experiencing the brunt of the syndemic. Click HERE for part 2.

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