Changes in physical activity and sedentary behaviours from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown: a systematic review


Stephanie Stockwell, Mike Trott, Mark Tully, Jae Shin, Yvonne Barnett, Laurie Butler, Daragh McDermott, Felipe Schuch, Lee Smith

BMJ Open Sp Ex Med 2021

Abstract In March 2020, several countries banned unnecessary outdoor activities during COVID-19, commonly called ‘lockdowns. These lockdowns have the potential to impact associated levels of physical activity and sedentary behaviour. Given the numerous health outcomes associated with physical activity and sedentary behaviour, the aim of this review was to summarise literature that investigated differences in physical activity and sedentary behaviour before vs during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Study Conclusions:

Given the numerous physical and mental benefits of increased physical activity and decreased sedentary behaviour, public health strategies should include the creation and implementation of interventions that promote safe physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour should other lockdowns occur.

What are the new findings?
► The majority of studies show that Physical Activity (PA) levels decreased during the COVID-19 lockdown across all
reviewed populations, except for eating disorder patients.
► The majority of studies show that Sedentary Behaviour (SB) levels increased.
► Public health strategies should include the promotion of PA and effective guidance on how to decrease SB during a lockdown, especially in populations with medical conditions that are improved by PA, such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Full study click here Changes in Physical Activity