Lockdown restrictions have led many people to become more sedentary in their day to day lives. As a result, many people are reporting increased joint & muscle pain or ‘lockdown legs’ due to reduced activity and movement.”

Learn how to avoid lockdown legs with these top tips from General Practitioner and medical broadcaster Dr Sarah Jarvis…

Keep moving to support circulation… 

keeping active outdoors can avoid lockdown legsThe single most important way of preserving your joints is to use them. This may seem counterintuitive but if they stay in the same position for long periods, joints stiffen up. Regular exercise is crucial for combatting joint problems and “lockdown legs”, even for people with arthritis.

…but don’t overdo it! 

The most beneficial exercise is going to be one you’re most likely to stick with. You may want to avoid very high impact exercise (HIIT) though if you have joint problems. 

Running (in the right shoes with lots of shock absorbency) and tennis are moderate-impact while cycling, yoga and swimming are low-impact. 

If you’re above the age of 50, combine aerobic exercise that makes you mildly out of breath with specific exercises to increase mobility and muscle strength in individual joints.  

Yoga, tai-chi, resistance band workouts, heavy gardening and Pilates are all good for strengthening muscles. Having strong muscles reduces the risk of falls as you get older but also protects your joints.

Eat a healthy diet

Being overweight has a major impact on your risk of developing joint problems. With age, levels of collagen drop. Collagen is crucial for the health of cartilage, so a reduction in collagen can leave you more prone to joint problems.


Adjust your workstation to avoid lockdown legs

taking desk breaks can avoid lockdown legsSo many of us spend long hours in front of the computer and the wrong position can lead to increased pain in legs and hips. 

Adjust your chair so you’re sitting with thighs parallel to the floor, knees at right angles,  feet flat on the floor and with your back supported. Take regular breaks and walk around your home or private garden.

Try a collagen supplement to support joints

woman taking a supplementA study of collagen supplements in young athletes found the supplement takers had significantly improved joint pain while at rest, walking, standing, carrying and lifting, compared to the placebo group. This effect was more marked among people who had knee pain.

If you are prone to joint problems or have osteoarthritis, consider taking supplements to prevent rather than treat joint issues, such as LQ Collagen Joint Care (£18.99).

Click to read our story on how walking and cycling can make your brain younger!