Eek F, Larsson C, Wisén A, Ekvall Hansson E
Int J Environ Res Public Health 18 (2) - [2021-01-14; online 2021-01-14]
COVID-19 restrictions may prevent people from reaching recommended levels of physical activity (PA). This study examines self-perceived changes in the extent and intensity of PA during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the relation between perceived changes in PA and general life satisfaction and perceived physical capacity. A total of 1318 participants (mean age 47.8 SD12.6; 82.1% women) were recruited through social media in Sweden during autumn 2020. The survey included questions regarding perceived changes in PA compared to the previous year, the "Rating of Perceived Capacity" scale and "Life Satisfaction Questionnaire-11". A change in PA was reported by 65% of participants. More participants reported an increase (36%) than a decrease (29%), however a decrease in PA was significantly more often considered to be due to the pandemic. The highest odds of decreased PA was found in the oldest age group (70+ years) (OR 2.8; 95% CI 1.4-5.7). Those who reported decreased levels of PA reported lower life satisfaction and aerobic capacity than the other groups ( p > 0.001). Decreased physical activity was reported by many, but an equal share reported increased activity during the pandemic. The highest odds for decreased activity was found in the oldest group-the group that has been subjected to the strictest recommended COVID-19 restrictions in Sweden.