Perceived physical activity during stay-at-home COVID-19 pandemic lockdown March–April 2020 in Polish adults


CZYŻ Stanisław Henryk STAROŚCIAK Wojciech

Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source PeerJ
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Sports Studies

Keywords Physical activity;Sedentary behavior; Pandemic; Lockdown; COVID-19;Poland; Stay-at-home order
Attached files
Description Background: Lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic drastically reduced the possibility of undertaking physical activity (PA) in gyms, swimming pools, or work-related PA, e.g., active commuting. However, the stay-at-home order could have reduced PA the most, i.e., the ban of unnecessary outdoor activities. It affected free walking, running, skiing, active tourism, etc. It is, therefore, crucial to estimate how the stay-at-home order affected PA. We estimated how the stay-at-home order affected perceived PA and sedentary behavior compared to the pre-pandemic time in Poland. Methods: We used a self-reported International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Long Form (IPAQ-LF) to estimate the time (minutes per day) of vigorous and moderate PA and walking and sitting time. Results: We gathered data from 320 Polish participants. Bayesian approaches, including t-test and Bayesian correlations, were used to find differences and correlations between PA before and during the stay-at-home lockdown. Our data supported the hypotheses that vigorous PA, as well as walking, declined during the lockdown. Surprisingly, our data did not support the hypothesis that moderate physical activity was reduced. We found that moderate PA during lockdown increased compared to the pre-lockdown PA. As hypothesized, our data strongly evinced that sitting time inclined during the lockdown. PA decline was not correlated with the available living space. People who had access to gardens did not demonstrate a higher PA level than those without. Discussion: Walking and sitting time have drastically changed during the stay-athome lockdown, decreasing and increasing, respectively. Given results from studies focusing on lockdowns without the stay-at-home restriction, it may be assumed that letting people go outside is crucial in keeping them more active and less sedentary. Authorities should take into account the effect the stay-at-home order may have on PA and sedentary behavior and as a result, on health. Stay-at-home orders should be the last considered restriction, given its detrimental consequences.

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