A survey conducted by the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) has found that 60% of respondents find it difficult to maintain a good level of physical activity during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

The online survey was conducted on 500 Qatar residents by Doha-based WISH researchers during the first three weeks of Ramadan this year. The survey revealed that 60% of people exercise less during the month than they usually would, with 40% of respondents reporting 30 minutes or less of physical activity per week.

According to research, 28 to 30 consecutive days without being physically active reduces overall physical fitness and strength. Thus, it is recommended that Muslims remain physically active during Ramadan to remain healthy.

The survey results also indicated that 62% of respondents found it hard to maintain a regular sleep pattern. Irregular sleeping patterns are associated with many health problems.

Survey respondents said that during the Holy Month, they experience headaches, extreme fatigue, dehydration, hypotension, fainting, digestive problems such as constipation, dizziness, shortness of breath, and muscle pain. More than three-quarters of the respondents said their eating habits either improved during Ramadan or remained the same as the rest of the year, and only one in five reported weight gain.

Curb the Habit!

Fasting during the month of Ramadan is an opportunity to curb the habits that negatively affect health, while adopting new, healthier habits and lifestyles. The Holy Month provides those observing with the ideal opportunity to lose excess weight through balanced and nutritional meals and exercise. Other health benefits associated with fasting include the improvement in well-being for people with some chronic health conditions.

WISH researcher Maha El Akoum said that in conducting the survey, they wanted to get an insight into how Ramadan affects the efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The results appear to show that there are some areas pertinent to staying healthy, such as maintaining healthy sleep patterns and exercising, which many find challenging, but the survey also showed how most people managed to avoid weight gain during the Holy Month.

She said that they intend to analyse the results further and publish a detailed report on the findings in the coming months, which hopefully, will serve as a useful resource for policymakers.

For updates and more information about the survey, visit wish.org.qa.