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



Mental health management of elite athletes during COVID-19: a narrative review and recommendations

Reardon CL, et al. Br J Sports Med 2020;0:1–10. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2020-102884

Claudia L Reardon, Abhinav Bindra, Cheri Blauwet,
Richard Budgett, Niccolo Campriani,Alan Currie, Vincent Gouttebarge, David McDuff,
Margo Mountjoy, Rosemary Purcell, Margot Putukian, Simon Rice, Brian Hainline

Article Abstract:

ABSTRACT: Elite athletes suffer many mental health symptoms and disorders at rates equivalent to or exceeding those of the general population. COVID-19 has created new strains on elite athletes, thus potentially increasing their vulnerability to mental health symptoms. This manuscript serves as a narrative review of the impact of the pandemic on management of those symptoms in elite athletes and ensuing recommendations to guide that management. It specifically addresses psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and higher levels of care. Within the realm of psychotherapy, crisis counselling might be indicated. Individual, couple/ family and group psychotherapy modalities all may be helpful during the pandemic, with novel content and means of delivery. Regarding pharmacotherapy for mental health symptoms and disorders, some important aspects of management have changed during the pandemic, particularly for certain classes of medication including stimulants, medications for bipolar and psychotic disorders, antidepressants, and medications for substance use disorders. Providers must consider when in-person management (eg, for physical examination, laboratory testing) or higher levels of care (eg, for crisis stabilisation) is necessary, despite potential risk of viral exposure during the pandemic. Management ultimately should continue to follow general principles of quality health care with some flexibility. Finally, the current pandemic provides an important opportunity for research on new methods of providing mental health care for athletes, and consideration for whether these new methods should extend beyond the pandemic.

The study states :

What is already known:

► Elite athletes suffer from many mental health symptoms and disorders at rates equivalent to or exceeding those in the general population.

► The COVID-19 pandemic has created several new stressors for elite athletes.

► Management for athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic has focused on cardiac complications, screening for asymptomatic disease and return to sport, incorporating hygiene measures

What are the new findings:

► The COVID-19 pandemic has created changes in the way in which management of mental health symptoms and disorders in elite athletes—inclusive of community-based or outpatient psychotherapy, outpatient pharmacotherapy and higher levels of care—should be delivered.

► Within the realm of psychotherapy, crisis counselling and other forms of individual psychotherapy, couple/family and group psychotherapy all may be helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic, with novel content and means of delivery.

► Some important aspects of pharmacotherapy for management of mental health symptoms and disorders in elite athletes have changed during the pandemic, particularly for certain classes of medication including stimulants, medications for bipolar and psychotic disorders, antidepressants and medications for substance use disorders.

► It is important for providers to consider when in-person management or higher levels of care for mental health symptoms and disorders are necessary for elite athletes, despite potential risk of viral exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full Article Click here bjsports-2020-102884.full

Cardiorespiratory considerations for return-to-play in elite athletes after COVID-19 infection: a practical guide for sport and exercise medicine physicians

Published on the 5/9/2020 from the BJSM : Scans and cardiological tests for return to play, in athletes who have suffered covid 19.

Wilson MG, et al. Br J Sports Med 2020;54:1157–1161. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2020-102710


1.Mathew G Wilson1,2,  2. James H Hull1,3,4, 3. John Rogers5,6,7, 4. Noel Pollock1,8, 5. Miranda Dodd2, 6. Jemma Haines5,6,9, 7. Sally Harris5,7, 8. Mike Loosemore1,4,
9. Aneil Malhotra5,6,10, 10. Guido Pieles1,11, 11. Anand Shah3,12, 12. Lesley Taylor5,7, 13. Aashish Vyas5,6,13, 14. Fares S Haddad1,2,14, 15. Sanjay Sharma15


SARS-CoV-2 is the causative virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic has necessitated that all professional and elite sport is either suspended, postponed or cancelled altogether to minimise the risk of viral spread. As infection rates drop and quarantine restrictions are lifted, the question how athletes can safely resume competitive sport is being asked. Given the rapidly evolving knowledge base about the virus and changing governmental and public health recommendations, a precise answer to this question is fraught with complexity and nuance. Without robust data to inform policy, return-to-play (RTP) decisions are especially difficult for elite athletes on the suspicion that the COVID-19 virus could result in significant cardiorespiratory compromise in a minority of afflicted athletes. There are now consistent reports of athletes reporting persistent and residual symptoms many weeks to months after initial COVID-19 infection. These symptoms include cough, tachycardia and extreme fatigue. To support safe RTP, we provide sport and exercise medicine physicians with practical recommendations on how to exclude cardiorespiratory complications of COVID-19 in elite athletes who place high demand on their cardiorespiratory system. As new evidence emerges, guidance for a safe RTP should be updated.

Read the full article here: RTP Covid

Fig 1 RTP pathway in those elite athletes confirmed (or suspected) COVID-19 positive. *History and physical examination should also consider other organ systems where COVID-19 can have pathological consequences such as neurological, gastrointestinal and dermatological. CPET,
cardiopulmonary exercise test; CRP, C reactive protein; CXR, chest X-ray; ECG, electrocardiogram; ECHO, echocardiography; hs-cTnT; high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T; MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; RTP, return to play.

A Team Sport Risk Exposure Framework to Support the Return to Sport

With Amateur Sports returning to training this is a timely reminder how to training and player proximity interactions when following guidelines in minutiae.

BLOG: British Journal of Sports Medicine Published 1/7/2020

Useful for sports to quantify risk in training & matches, & help guide contact tracing

Authors : Ben Jones 1,2,3,4,5, Gemma Phillips 2,6, Simon PT Kemp 7,10, Steffan A Griffin 7,8, Clint Readhead 4,9, Neil Pearce 10, Keith A Stokes 7,11


The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in global disruption to many sports. There are a number of challenges in returning to sport, especially given the unprecedented duration of time that athletes have not been able to train or compete in normal environments(1), the potential health risk to athletes, their coaches, support staff, the wider public, and the limited evidence base available to inform decisions. Every sport will carry different infection risks, given the specific match demands and training requirements(2). Furthermore, considerations regarding the return to training and match play will be greatly influenced by the national impact of COVID-19(3). A good example is the comparison of United Kingdom (COVID-19 mortality of >42,000), vs. Australia and New Zealand (COVID-19 mortality of <150)(4). In particular, New Zealand has now eliminated SARS-CoV-2, and rugby and other sports are now occurring ‘as normal’.

Full Blog can be found here:Blogs BJSM



Returning to Play after Prolonged Training Restrictions in Professional Collision Sports

Authors Keith A. Stokes1, 2 , Ben Jones3, 4, 5, 6, Mark Bennett7, 8, Graeme L. Close9, 10, Nicholas Gill11, 12, James H. Hull13, Andreas M. Kasper10, Simon P. T. Kemp2, Stephen D. Mellalieu14, Nicholas Peirce15, Bob Stewart2, Benjamin T. Wall16, Stephen W. West1, Matthew Cross1,

On the 29th of May the International Journal of sports medicine published on line the attached article, with the easing of Pandemic conditions the following article should be read by sports alevels when returning to play.

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has resulted in widespread training disruption in many sports. Some athletes have access to facilities and equipment, while others have limited or no access, severely limiting their training practices. A primary concern is that the maintenance of key physical qualities (e. g. strength, power, high-speed running ability, acceleration, deceleration and change of direction), game-specific contact skills (e. g. tackling) and decision-making ability, are challenged, impacting performance and injury risk on resumption of training and competition.

In extended periods of reduced training, without targeted intervention, changes in body composition and function can be profound. However, there are strategies that can dramatically mitigate potential losses, including resistance training to failure with lighter loads, plyometric training, exposure to high-speed running to ensure appropriate hamstring conditioning, and nutritional intervention.

Athletes may require psychological support given the challenges associated with isolation and a change in regular training routine. While training restrictions may result in a decrease in some physical and psychological qualities, athletes can return in a positive state following an enforced period of rest and recovery. On return to training, the focus should be on progression of all aspects of training, taking into account the status of individual athletes.

For the full article and conclusions: Click on the link Return to Play



SWTC Gym Closure

Sunbury Weight Training Club closure

Notice to All Members regarding COVID -19 Coronavirus


SWTC Gym Closure

Dear SWTC Member,

Given the increasing uncertainty around the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus and the global health concerns, the SWTC committee has been monitoring the ever-changing situation very closely. The safety and well-being of our members is our top priority, and while we cannot control what happens with the spread of the virus, we can certainly control how we respond to it in the best interests of our members.

Up to now, we have been committed to ensuring there is minimal disruption to the gym and the services SWTC provide to our loyal members.

It is with great regret therefore that we have to announce the immediate and temporary closure of Sunbury Weight Training Club gym facilities until further notice.

We have discussed the pros and cons of taking this course of action in great detail over the last few days and we know it will be a great disappointment to many, but we feel we have no option but to make the premises off limits to our members in the interest of health and safety.

The status of the COVID-19 outbreak is changing every day and will put a great burden on all of us. I know each of you will be having to make adjustments in real-time to protect interests of your own families and businesses. We suggest you make your preparations, stay at home if possible, and look into callisthenics or home-workouts for now. As soon as it is practical we shall return!

We hope you are all safe and well and would like to extend our thoughts to anyone who is affected at this difficult time.

Enda Madden.

SWTC Co-Chairman.




Rugby activity includes club training, league and cup matches plus rugby education courses from 17 March until 14 April subject to continued review.

The decision has been taken following government advice in the interests of players, coaches, referees, volunteers, supporters and the wider rugby union community.

Where possible, players at all levels are encouraged to maintain their own personal fitness and keep active during this time, while following government guidelines about safe distance and safe exercise environments.

The RFU will continue to review and monitor government advice and will provide detailed updates on the impact to the season in the coming weeks.

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