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Assessing physical activity and sedentary time during the COVID-19 pandemic using self-reported measurement

Faisal Awad Barwais.

Abstract
Background: Today, more than 200 countries have implemented lockdowns to counteract the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts in the sports science field and many international organizations argued in favor of continued regular physical activity as much as possible during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Aim and Objective: This study aimed to examine the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on levels of physical activity and sedentary time with differing weight status based on body mass index (BMI) categories.

Materials and Methods: This research is a cross-sectional study of a sample of 486 young and middle-aged Saudi adults (306 men and 180 women); age range 18–59 years (mean age ± SD, 34.6 ± 8.3 years); and BMI range 18.5–47 kg/m2 (mean BMI ± SD, 28.4 ± 6.1 kg/m2). An online version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire was randomly distributed to as many people as possible from April 9–25, 2020.

Results: The majority (80.6%) of the participants of this study were not meeting the World Health Organization recommendations on physical activity levels. Moreover, the participants spent, on average, 10.55 h/day in activities related to sitting, and no significant difference in sedentary time activities was found according to BMI status.

Conclusions: Health education efforts are needed to make people stay physically active at home using various safe and easily implementable exercises and reduce the sedentary time during the COVID-19 lockdown. The current results will probably lead to increased attention to developing potential intervention methods to change exercise patterns and ways to deliver home exercises that will encourage people to engage in regular physical activity inside their home during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Key words: Coronavirus; International Physical Activity Questionnaire; Body Mass Index; Subjective Assessment



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