As the vibrant colours of summer fade away, a collective sigh seems to sweep across the British population, marking the arrival of autumn. According to a recent nation-wide survey conducted by SCI-MX, a staggering 84% of Brits experience a significant dip in energy levels during this season. The study sheds light on the challenges many face as the days get shorter, nights darker, and the weather colder.
The Autumn Slump Unveiled
The survey highlights a common sentiment among respondents, with 33% expressing that their energy levels consistently plummet during the autumn months. SCI-MX's research suggests that the combination of dark mornings, early nights, and chilly weather contributes to this annual energy slump, affecting both physical activity and overall mood.
The Gym Battleground
For 30% of participants, the first casualty of autumn is the early morning gym session. Matt Durkin, an exercise and nutrition expert, acknowledges this trend, stating, “As summer bids us farewell and autumn and winter set in, a noticeable shift in daily routine and health-conscious choices often occurs.” However, the survey also brings a glimmer of hope, with 38% recognising the efficacy of group exercise in combating the autumn lethargy.”
Durkin offers insights into this phenomenon, saying, “exercise at this time of the year can significantly improve your mood, overall productivity, and wellbeing, even if the weather makes it tempting to stay indoors.”
Navigating Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder (SAD)
Beyond the general sluggishness, the survey revealed that 29% of respondents feel a heightened challenge with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during autumn. Expert, Matt, emphasises the role of a holistic approach in managing SAD, advocating for a combination of balanced nutrition, regular exercise, exposure to natural light, and targeted supplementation.
He comments: ‘winter blues' affects quite a significant portion of the UK population (~20%)(1) but actual SAD is only ~2%. I always advise anyone feeling low or not quite themselves to speak to a health professional or their GP in the first instance. SAD symptoms can be quite debilitating.
“Nutritional support however, is crucial for overall health, including mental health. Supplements can help fill the gaps in our nutrition, especially when sunlight exposure is limited,” Durkin advises. He underscores the importance of adopting a comprehensive strategy to combat the effects of SAD and encourages individuals to explore the benefits of group exercise for mood enhancement.
The Rise of Pre-Workout Products
September statistics from the survey also reveal an interesting trend, as nearly one in 10 Brits turn to pre-workout products to combat the autumn energy dip. Durkin acknowledges this shift, stating, “It’s no surprise that pre-workout products have a rise in sales at this time of year, and Brits are picking them up to reach their peak.” However, he cautions consumers to scrutinise product ingredients, ensuring they contain no harmful additives or excessive sugar.
As autumn unfolds, the SCI-MX survey provides valuable insights into the challenges many Brits face during this transitional season. Expert, Matt, leaves us with a piece of advice: “As always, I advise consulting a healthcare professional before starting any new supplementation.”
By acknowledging the impact of autumn on our well-being and adopting a holistic approach, we can navigate the seasonal slump and embrace the changing season with vitality and resilience.