Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity among university students in Pavia, Northern Italy.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity among university students in Pavia, Northern Italy.

Authors

  • Lucia Bertocchi Exercise and Sports Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
  • Riccardo Vecchio Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
  • Sebastiano Sorbello Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
  • Luca Correale 4Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
  • Leandro Gentile Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
  • Cosme Buzzachera Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
  • Maddalena Gaeta Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
  • Anna Odone Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy

Keywords:

COVID-19, Sedentary Behavior, Exercise

Abstract

Aim: To evaluate the University of Pavia students about physical activity (PA) changes before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: The International Physical Activity Questionnaires (IPAQ) survey was employed to evaluate the PA in three periods: the pre-pandemic period, during national stay-at-home order (March 9th - May 4th 2020), current PA. Exercise intensity for each period was defined using the Metabolic Equivalent of Task (Met) as unit of measurement. The questionnaire was administered online to university students from June 9th to July 4th 2021, structured in four sections, also collecting demographic data.

Results: 55,6% of the study population reported a significant decrease in PA during lockdown. The number of active/very active subjects dropped from 72.2% in pre-pandemic period to 29.6% during containment measures. 50% reported a substantial increase in moving out of the lockdown. Stay-at-home order was associated with an increase in sedentary lifestyle (68.5%), which sharply decreased moving out from lockdown (two-third of study population). Average time in minutes spent sitting was 612 before pandemic, 844 during the pandemic and 670 after social restrictions.

Conclusions: Lockdown had a negative impact on PA among the university students leading to an increase in sedentary behaviours. Following the gradual relaxation of the restrictive measures, situation has improved, without however returning to pre-pandemic level. It is of fundamental importance to study new strategies to promote healthy lifestyles while coping with the on-going pandemic.

Author Biography

Anna Odone, Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy

MD MSc MPH DrPH PhD

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Published

10-12-2021

How to Cite

1.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity among university students in Pavia, Northern Italy. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2021 Dec. 10 [cited 2024 Jun. 20];92(S6):e2021443. Available from: https://mattioli1885journals.com/index.php/actabiomedica/article/view/12232

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