The Impact of COVID-19 Crises on the Diet Quality, Physical Activity, and Sedentary Lifestyle Among Saudi's Adults COVID-19 Crises on the Diet Quality, Physical Activity, and Sedentary Lifestyle

Main Article Content

Rola Jalloun
Mohammed Alahmadi


Covied-19; Diet Quality; Physical activity; Sedentary Behavior.


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected day-to-day life and is changing how we eat and even how we exercise, as many individuals have developed a passive sedentary lifestyle. The aim of the study is to assess the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on dietary quality, physical activity, and sedentary behavior among Saudi adults. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 738 adults in the KSA. A modified Dietary Quality Score (DQS) The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and the Sedentary Behavior Questionnaire (SBQ) were used for the purpose of the study. The results showed that the overall proportion of participants with average dietary habits was 76%, and 16% of the participants were identified as having unhealthy dietary habits. The total average length of PA in minutes/week was 2079.08 ±2454.14, and the highest average was for vigorous PA (1372.47 ±1665.62 minutes/week). The SBQ indicated that the total length of SB was 552.36 ± 253.11 minutes/week. Meanwhile, on average, participants spent the most time using the internet (213.75 ± 153.81 minutes/day) and the least time talking on the phone (46.53 ± 56.80 minutes/day). Overall, 34.7% of the sample spent ≥ 7 hours/day sitting; this pattern was observed more in females than in males. Finally, 65.3% of the sample spent < 7 hours/day sitting; this pattern appeared significantly more often in males than in females. The COVID-19 crisis has rapidly affected people’s daily lives, including dietary quality, physical activity and sedentary behavior. This pandemic has caused significant effects on the lifestyle, quality of life and well-being of individuals and societies, and it may continue to affect them in the future.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 175 |


1. Ministry of Health – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. COVID-19 Monitoring Committee Discusses Results of the Curfew. 2020.
2. Haleem A, Javaid M, Vaishya R. Effects of COVID-19 pandemic in daily life. Curr Med Res Pract. 2020;
3. Mattei G, De Vogli R, Ferrari S, Pingani L, Rigatelli M, Galeazzi GM. Impact of the economic crisis on health-related behaviors in Italy. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2017;
4. Europe WRO for. Food and nutrition during self-quarantine: what to choose and how to eat healthily [Internet]. WHO. [cited 2020 Apr 11]. Available from:
5. Ricci F, Izzicupo P, Moscucci F, Sciomer S, Maffei S, Di Baldassarre A, et al. Recommendations for Physical Inactivity and Sedentary Behavior During the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic. Front Public Heal. 2020;
6. Johansson SE, Sundquist J. Change in lifestyle factors and their influence on health status and all-cause mortality. Int J Epidemiol. 1999;
7. Hudd SS, Dumlao J, Erdmann-Sager D, Murray D, Phan E, Soukas N, et al. Stress at college: Effects on health habits, health status and self-esteem [Internet]. Vol. 34, College Student Journal. 2000. p. 217–28. Available from:
8. Gerber M. The Comprehensive Approach to Diet: A Critical Review. J Nutr. 2001;
9. WHO. Country Cooperation Strategy for WHO and Saudi Arabia 2012–2016. World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean Cairo. 2013.
10. Al-Zalabani AH, Al-Hamdan NA, Saeed AA. The prevalence of physical activity and its socioeconomic correlates in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A cross-sectional population-based national survey. J Taibah Univ Med Sci. 2015;
11. Mabry R, Koohsari MJ, Bull F, Owen N. A systematic review of physical activity and sedentary behaviour research in the oil-producing countries of the Arabian Peninsula. BMC Public Health. 2016.
12. Blake H, Mo P, Malik S, Thomas S. How effective are physical activity interventions for alleviating depressive symptoms in older people? A systematic review. Clinical Rehabilitation. 2009.
13. Network SBR. Standardized use of the terms “sedentary” and “sedentary behaviours.” Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012;
14. Moradi-Lakeh M, El Bcheraoui C, Tuffaha M, Daoud F, Al Saeedi M, Basulaiman M, et al. The health of Saudi youths: Current challenges and future opportunities. BMC Fam Pract. 2016;
15. Alzamil HA, Alhakbany MA, Alfadda NA, Almusallam SM, Al-Hazzaa HM. A profile of physical activity, sedentary behaviors, sleep, and dietary habits of Saudi college female students. J Fam Community Med. 2019;
16. Hu FB. Sedentary lifestyle and risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. In: Lipids. 2003.
17. Midhet FM, Al-Mohaimeed AA, Sharaf FK. Lifestyle related risk factors of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J. 2010;
18. Albakry T. Risk Factors of Diseases Associated with Sedentary Lifestyle Among Saudis in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Med Sci Sport Exerc. 2014;
19. Al-Nozha MM, Al-Hazzaa HM, Arafah MR, Al-Khadra A, Al-Mazrou YY, Al-Maatouq MA, et al. Prevalence of physical activity and inactivity among Saudis aged 30-70 years: A population-based cross-sectional study. Saudi Med J. 2007;
20. M Alqarni SS. A Review of Prevalence of Obesity in Saudi Arabia. J Obes Eat Disord. 2017;
21. (Sgv) SG of V. Body Mass Index (BMI) [Internet]. Better Health Channel. 2013. Available from:
22. Halawani R, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Bahjri K, Heskey C. Saudi Population’s Adherence to the Healthy Food Palm: A Cross-sectional Study (P16-066-19). Curr Dev Nutr. 2019;
23. Toft U, Kristoffersen LH, Lau C, Borch-Johnsen K, Jørgensen T. The Dietary Quality Score: Validation and association with cardiovascular risk factors: The Inter99 study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007;
24. Barbara Gordon, RDN L. The Basics of the Nutrition Facts Label [Internet]. [cited 2019 Oct 3]. Available from:
25. Kałucka S, Kaleta D, Makowiec-Dabrowska T. Prevalence of dietary behavior and determinants of quality of diet among beneficiaries of government welfare assistance in Poland. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;
26. Arabic short version of International Physical Activity Questionnaire [Internet]. Stockholm: Karolinska Institutet. [cited 2020 May 26]. Available from:
27. Craig CL, Marshall AL, Sjöström M, Bauman AE, Booth ML, Ainsworth BE, et al. International physical activity questionnaire: 12-Country reliability and validity. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003;
28. Pate RR, Pratt M, Blair SN, Haskell WL, Macera CA, Bouchard C, et al. Public Health and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine. J Am Med Assoc. 1995;
29. World Health Organization. Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data Global recommendations on physical activity for health. World Health Organization 2010.
30. Ipaq. Guidelines for Data Processing and Analysis of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire ( IPAQ ) – Short and Long Forms. Ipaq. 2005;
31. Rosenberg DE, Norman GJ, Wagner N, Patrick K, Calfas KJ, Sallis JF. Reliability and validity of the sedentary behavior questionnaire (SBQ) for adults. J Phys Act Heal. 2010;
32. Australian National Preventive Health Agency. Obesity: Sedentary behaviours and health. Sydney Aust Natl Prev Heal Agency; 2014;
33. Macht M. How emotions affect eating: A five-way model. Appetite. 2008.
34. S.D. A, P.M. M. Do negative emotions predict alcohol consumption, saturated fat intake, and physical activity in older adults? Behav Modif. 2005;
35. Naja F, Hamadeh R. Nutrition amid the COVID-19 pandemic: a multi-level framework for action. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2020.
36. Amin TT, Suleman W, Ali A, Gamal A, Wehedy A Al. Pattern, Prevalence, and perceived personal barriers toward physical activity among adult Saudis in Al-Hassa, KSA. J Phys Act Heal. 2011;
37. Mengesha MM, Roba HS, Ayele BH, Beyene AS. Level of physical activity among urban adults and the socio-demographic correlates: A population-based cross-sectional study using the global physical activity questionnaire. BMC Public Health. 2019;
38. Al-Hazzaa HM. Physical Inactivity in Saudi Arabia Revisited: A Systematic Review of Inactivity Prevalence and Perceived Barriers to Active Living. Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2018;12(6):50–64.
39. Amin TT, Al-Hammam AM, AlMulhim NA, Al-Hayan MI, Al-Mulhim MM, Al-Mosabeh MJ, et al. Physical activity and cancer prevention: Awareness and meeting the recommendations among adult saudis. Asian Pacific J Cancer Prev. 2014;
40. Ministry of Sport. Join the Kingdom’s first & biggest Home Run with the best challenges and prizes! [Internet]. [cited 2020 Jan 6]. Available from:
41. Morgan Noonan. Social Media Fitness Influencers: Inno Social Media Fitness Influencers: Innovators and Motiv ors and Motivators [Internet]. 2018. Available from:
42. Lee I-M, Shiroma EJ, Lobelo F, Puska P, Blair SN, Katzmarzyk PT, et al. Impact of Physical Inactivity on the World’s Major Non- Communicable Diseases for the Lancet Physical Activity Series Working Group * Lancet Physical Activity Series working group. Lancet. 2012;
43. World Health Organization. Global recommendations on physical activity forhealth. Geneva, Switz World Heal Organ. 2010;
44. NHagberg, J.M.; Park, J.J.; Brown M. The role of exercise training in the treatment of hypertension: An update. Sport Med. 2000;30:193–206.
45. Young DR, Hivert MF, Alhassan S, Camhi SM, Ferguson JF, Katzmarzyk PT, et al. Sedentary behavior and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality: A science advisory from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2016;
46. Chomistek AK, Manson JE, Stefanick ML, Lu B, Sands-Lincoln M, Going SB, et al. Relationship of sedentary behavior and physical activity to incident cardiovascular disease: Results from the women’s health initiative. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013;
47. Patterson R, McNamara E, Tainio M, de Sá TH, Smith AD, Sharp SJ, et al. Sedentary behaviour and risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, and incident type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and dose response meta-analysis. European Journal of Epidemiology. 2018.
48. Baek SI, So WY. Association between times spent on the Internet and weight status in Korean adolescents. Iran J Public Health. 2011;
49. De Jong E, Visscher TLS, Hirasing RA, Heymans MW, Seidell JC, Renders CM. Association between TV viewing, computer use and overweight, determinants and competing activities of screen time in 4- to 13-year-old children. Int J Obes. 2013;