Brazil before and during COVID-19 pandemic: Impact on the practice and habits of physical exercise Physical exercise during social isolation

Main Article Content

Anelise Sonza
Danubia da Cunha de Sá-Caputo
José Alexandre Bachur
Maria das Graças Rodrigues de Araújo
Karen Valadares Trippo Valadares Trippo
Dirceu Ribeiro Nogueira da Gama Ribeiro Nogueira da Gama
Daniel Lago Borges
Vanessa Amaral Mendonça
Mario Bernardo-Filho


COVID-19, Exercise, SARS-CoV-2, Quality of life, Social isolation


Introduction: The goal of this study was to investigate the practice and habits of physical exercise impact due to COVID-19 social isolation before and during the outbreak in Brazil and its mains macro-regions, which have social and economic disparities.

Methods: This is an observational cross-sectional study through an online questionnaire survey. A self-administered survey (PEF-COVID19) was applied in the Brazilian general population, age ≥ 18 years. T-test for independent samples and Chi-square tests were used to compare Brazil and different macro-regions, p˂0.05.

Results: 1,977 participants filled the survey and 1,845 were included; 80% of the included ones were in social isolation. In general, the self-related physical exercise practice before and during the COVID-19 pandemic and exercise characteristics were highly affected by the pandemic (p˂0.05). Sedentary behavior increased significantly (14.9 vs. 29.8%) and between the active ones, the frequency of PEx per week and duration of the PEx practice decreased significantly. The motivation to exercise also changed considering performance and health before and during the pandemic, respectively (10 vs. 5.6% and 72.4 vs. 79.1%). Also, the sample started to exercise less in the night and more in the afternoon, respectively (33.7 vs. 25.3% and 19.1 vs. 31.5%).

Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic highly influenced the physical exercise practice and habits (frequency, duration, motivation, period to exercise) in Brazil and its main macro-regions. These results can be used to create measures, as home-based exercise programs, to avoid the harm of sedentary behaviors and mental health impact during and after the pandemic.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 992 | PDF Downloads 447


1. WHO. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Situation Report – 43. March, 2020. Published 2020.
2. Oliveira WK, Duarte E, França GVA de, Garcia LP. How Brazil can hold back COVID-19. Epidemiol e Serviços Saúde. 2020;29(2):1-8.
3. Peçanha T, Goessler KF, Roschel H, Gualano B. Social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic can increase physical inactivity and the global burden of cardiovascular disease. Am J Physiol Circ Physiol. 2020;318(6):H1441-H1446.
4. Lau H, Khosrawipour V, Kocbach P, et al. The positive impact of lockdown in Wuhan on containing the COVID-19 outbreak in China. J Travel Med. 2020;1:1-14.
5. Narici M, De Vito G, Franchi M, et al. Impact of sedentarism due to the COVID-19 home confinement on neuromuscular, cardiovascular and metabolic health: Physiological and pathophysiological implications and recommendations for physical and nutritional countermeasures. Eur J Sport Sci. 2020;0(0):1-22.
6. AMMAR A, Brach M, Trabelsi K, et al. Effects of COVID-19 home confinement on physical activity and eating behaviour Preliminary results of the ECLB-COVID19 international online-survey. medRxiv. May 2020:2020.05.04.20072447.
7. Moghanibashi-Mansourieh A. Assessing the anxiety level of Iranian general population during COVID-19 outbreak. Asian J Psychiatr. 2020;51:102076.
8. Neumann LT V, Albert SM. Aging in Brazil. Gerontologist. 2018;58(4):611-617.
9. Sá-Caputo D da C de, Sonza A, Bachur JA, Bernardo-Filho M. Development, validation and reliability of a questionnaire to evaluate changes on the level of physical exercises and psychological impact due to COVID-19 pandemic social distancing. Acta Biomed. 2020; 91(3):1-9.
10. MS MDS. Declara Emergência em Saúde Pública de importância Nacional (ESPIN) em decorrência da Infecção Humana pelo novo Coronavírus (2019-nCoV) [Internet]. Diário Oficial da União, Brasília (DF). Published 2020. Accessed June 5, 2020.
11. Scafetta N. Distribution of the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic and Its Monthly Forecast Based on Seasonal Climate Patterns. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(10):3493.
12. IBGE. Síntese de indicadores sociais : uma análise das condições de vida da população brasileira : 2016. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Published 2016. Accessed June 5, 2020.
13. Rabahy WA. Análise e perspectivas do turismo no Brasil. Rev Bras Pesqui em Tur. 2019;14(1):1-13.
14. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): at risk for severe illness. [internet]. Published 2020. Accessed May 3, 2020.
15. WHO. Coronavirus. [internet]. Published 2020. Accessed April 15, 2020.
17. Martins LC, Latorre MRD de O, Saldiva PHN, Braga ALF. Air Pollution and Emergency Room Visits Due to Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases in the Elderly: An Ecological Time-Series Study in São Paulo, Brazil. J Occup Environ Med. 2002;44(7):622-627.
18. Ferreira MS, Castiel LD, Cardoso MHC de A. A patologização do sedentarismo. Saúde e Soc. 2012;21(4):836-847.
19. Ayittey FK, Ayittey MK, Chiwero NB, Kamasah JS, Dzuvor C. Economic impacts of Wuhan 2019‐nCoV on China and the world. J Med Virol. 2020;92(5):473-475.
20. de Souza Ferreira LP, Valente TM, Tiraboschi FA, da Silva GPF. Description of Covid-19 Cases in Brazil and Italy. SN Compr Clin Med. 2020;2(5):497-500.
21. WHO. The impact of COVID-19 on sport, physical activity and well-being and its effects on social development [Internet]. 15th May. Published 2020. Accessed June 2, 2020.
22. Woods J, Hutchinson NT, Powers SK, et al. The COVID-19 Pandemic and Physical Activity. Sport Med Heal Sci. May 2020.