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Webinar: Stay Home, Save Lives: Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Mental Health During the COVID–19 Pandemic

COVID-19: Reimagining physical activity and sedentary behaviour for health


Stay Home, Save Lives: Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Limited work has considered the importance of lifestyle factors, such as physical activity, in the context of a global pandemic. In this seminar, we will cover two main areas of interest. First, how individual health behaviours, such as physical activity, can be beneficial for immune health and help in the prevention of serious illness following COVID–19 infection. Second, the impact of lockdowns around the globe on physical activity behaviour, sedentary behaviour and mental health.
For more details and to register for the event, please see hereWebinar details will be sent automatically to those registered.


Professor Mark Hamer (Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health, Research Department of Targeted Intervention, University College London)
We conducted the first large-scale general population study on lifestyle risk factors (smoking, physical inactivity, obesity and excessive alcohol intake) for COVID–19 using prospective cohort data with national registry linkage to hospitalisation. Participants were 387,109 men and women (56.4 ± 8.8 yr; 55.1% women) residing in England from the UK Biobank study. From 16 March 2020 to 26 April 2020, we recorded 760 COVID–19 cases serious enough to warrant a hospital admission. We will present results on dose-dependent associations between multiple lifestyle factors and risk of COVID–19. Based on UK risk-factor prevalence estimates, we will also present data on the population attributable fraction of severe COVID–19 related to unhealthy lifestyle.

Professor Costas I. Karageorghis (Division of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, Brunel University London)
We investigated the effects of COVID–19 lockdown on physical activity (PA), sedentary behaviour and mental health across four Western nations (USA, UK, France and Australia). An online survey, rendered culturally specific for each nation, was administered in the second quarter of 2020 (N = 2,541; 41.7 + 16.0 yr; 76.3% women). Planned and unplanned dimensions of PA were assessed using the Brunel Lifestyle Physical Activity Questionnaire, and mental health using the General Health Questionnaire. Steps per day were recorded only from participants who used an electronic device for this purpose, and sedentary behaviour was reported in hours per day (sitting and screen time). Findings illustrate the deleterious effects of lockdown on PA, sedentary behaviour and mental health. Declines in mental health suggest that lockdowns can be particularly harmful for women.