The influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity in Stockholm County - Evidence from time series models of smartphone measured daily steps data spanning over 3 years.

Zhou M, Gebreslassie M, Ponce de Leon A, Tynelius P, Ahlqvist VH, Dahlen M, Berglind D, Lager A, Brynedal B

Prev Med 183 (-) 107969 [2024-04-21; online 2024-04-21]

It has been reported that physical activity levels decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous studies often relied on self-reported physical activity, which has low accuracy. Studies based on objectively measured physical activity have had short data collection periods, thereby not allowing the consideration of pre-pandemic levels of physical activity or the influence over the different waves of the pandemic. In this study, we utilize smartphone-measured step data from a nonprobability sample in Stockholm County, Sweden, where measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 differed from those in many other countries. The results are based on 522 individuals and 532,739 person-days with step data spanning from 2019 to 2021. Generalized additive models were fitted for each individual, and meta-regression was used to combine the results from individual models. Daily steps decreased during the first wave but increased during the third wave compared to individual pre-pandemic levels. The decrease in daily steps occurred primarily in young individuals and those with occupations allowing remote work. Individuals of retirement age on the contrary increased their daily steps during the same period. This study reveal that the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic was temporary and that younger age and the possibility of working from home were associated with a decreasing trend in physical activity.

Category: Other

Category: Social Science & Humanities

Type: Journal article

PubMed 38653392

DOI 10.1016/j.ypmed.2024.107969

Crossref 10.1016/j.ypmed.2024.107969

pii: S0091-7435(24)00124-5

Publications 9.5.0