Just Published: Changes in Physical Activity among United Kingdom University Students Following the Implementation of Coronavirus Lockdown Measures

publications Mar 10, 2021

What a year it has been, it been quiet on the blog front. Hopefully 2021 will yield better results, both for this blog and the wider world. We recently had an article accepted in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health that focuses on physical activity among students at King's College London, and the changes experienced as a result of lockdown. The paper is a new avenue of research, it utilises remote measure technology via Apple Health and Google Fit to track activity levels of students, it results in a pretty clean and structured dataset.

You can find out more about the paper below.

Abstract: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and resulting restrictions have significantly impacted physical activity levels. However, objectively measured changes in physical activity levels among UK university students during lockdown are understudied. Using data collected via remote measurement technology from a mobile physical activity tracker, this study aimed to describe the longitudinal trajectories of physical activity following the start of lockdown among students at a large UK university, and to investigate whether these trajectories varied according to age, gender, and ethnicity.

Continuous physical activity data for steps walked per week (n = 730) and miles run per week (n = 264) were analysed over the first period of lockdown and subsequent restriction easing using negative binomial mixed models for repeated measures. Throughout the observation period, more steps were walked by males compared to females, and by White groups compared to all other ethnic groups combined. However, there was a gradual increase in the number of steps walked per week following the commencement of lockdown, irrespective of sociodemographic characteristics. For females only, there was a decrease in the number of miles run per week following lockdown. The long-term impact of the pandemic on physical health is unknown, but our results highlight changes in physical activity which could have implications for physical health.

You can read the full artcile here.

Reference: Wickersham, Alice; Carr, Ewan; Hunt, Ryan; Davis, Jordan P.; Hotopf, Matthew; Fear, Nicola T.; Downs, Johnny; Leightley, Daniel. 2021. "Changes in Physical Activity among United Kingdom University Students Following the Implementation of Coronavirus Lockdown Measures" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 6: 2792. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062792