That is the view of Assistant Health Minister Steve Pallett, who says the threat of serious illness has ‘frightened’ people into action in recent weeks and could go some way to explaining the apparent spike in outdoor casual exercise.
His comments follow suggestions of a post-pandemic survey by independent body Jersey Sport, with the Senator also highlighting the relationship between better health and lower government spending.
‘A lot of people have come to realise that they should have been keeping themselves fitter prior to the crisis and it has been a wake-up call to some people,’ said Senator Pallett, who holds political responsibility for sport and mental health in Jersey.
‘The virus itself has probably frightened a few people who then think “the fitter I am, the more likely I’ll be able to get over this if I get it”.
‘People are out and about enjoying the environment, safely I hope, and that will bring a benefit in terms of keeping people mentally active and keeping people’s spirits up in a really difficult time.
‘If we really want to keep the cost of our health service down, it’s important that we all stay as active as we can and it has been highlighted from necessity recently. When a crisis does arise, we need to make sure we’re in the best position to fight it.’
He added: ‘It gives us a good springboard for when we’re through this, to try and get people to stay more active than before.’