OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant consequences on public health and lifestyle and has negatively affected mental health and the level of physical activity worldwide. This study examined the impact of reopening fitness centers and nonessential services and introducing flexible measures to ensure social distancing on physical activity and mental health.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a longitudinal study. A self-administered questionnaire, including personal, behavioral, physical activity, perception of health, and mood state disorder information, was answered by 128 Brazilians in June 2020 (during severe restrictive measures) and again in April 2021 (after fitness centers and nonessential services were reopened).
RESULTS: The restriction level adopted in April 2021 was significantly lower than that in June 2020 (p<0.001). The level of physical activity (p<0.001) and health status perception (p<0.001) decreased from June 2020 to April 2021. The median values for depression and anxiety did not differ across the study period.
CONCLUSIONS: The level of physical activity was reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and anxiety and depression were not improved following less restrictive social distancing measures and the reopening of fitness centers. Thus, the return to a prepandemic level of physical activity and mental health status may not be automatic. The results presented herein suggest that the decrease in physical activity observed in the population may be challenging in the postpandemic period.Free PDF Download
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B.C. Gimenes Marfori, C.A. Barbosa de Lira, R.L. Vancini, P.T. Nikolaidis, B. Knechtle, M. Santos Andrade
Association between lowering restriction levels during the coronavirus outbreak and physical activity among adults: a longitudinal observational study in Brazil
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 26 - N. 9