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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 Dec 03

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11600-1


lingua: Inglese

Physical activity levels across COVID-19 outbreak in youngsters of Northwestern Lombardy

Michele TORNAGHI 1, Nicola LOVECCHIO 2, 3 , Matteo VANDONI 3, Andrea CHIRICO 4, Roberto CODELLA 2, 5

1 Va.Pe Laboratorio di valutazioni delle prestazioni, Verano Brianza, Monza, Italy; 2 Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy; 3 Laboratory of Adapted Motor Activity (LAMA), Department of Public Health, Experimental Medicine and Forensic Sport Sciences Unit, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Pavia, Italy; 4 Department of Social and Developmental Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; 5 Department of Endocrinology, Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases, IRCCS MultiMedica, Milan, Italy

BACKGROUND: Italy early experienced one of the most suffering impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in terms of number of cases and death toll. Progressively, more compelling national restrictions hardened citizens’ lifestyle and habits, including limiting mobility and outdoor physical activity (PA). In a second phase, people were allowed to perform outdoor activities close to their houses and thereafter motor or sports activity were gradually reintroduced. These drastic changes raised the question on how to cope and exploit the residual opportunities of PA under circumstances of home confinement.
METHODS: International Physical Activity Questionnaires were administered to 1,568 youngsters from North-western Italian high schools, before, during, and after lockdown enacted by Italian Government to contrast the COVID-19 pandemic.
RESULTS: Student’s PA levels were significantly different before (1676.37 ± 20.6 MET-min/week) and after (1774.50 ± 33.93 MET-min/week) the governmental restrictions (TIME effect: F=3.49; ηp 2 = 0.005 p=0.03). There was a significant TIME*CATEGORY interaction effect (F=8.37; ηp 2 = 0.021; p<0.001). In particular, only highly active students (>2520 MET-min/week) increased their PA during (3467.48 ± 55.85 MET-min/week) and after (3515.73 ± 65.75 MET-min/week) the lockdown measures with respect to their baseline levels (3151.43 ± 42.41 MET-min/week).
CONCLUSIONS: Lockdown measures, including isolation, impacted negatively on the PA levels of the already inactive or moderately active young population. Government actions should enhance strategies to control physical inactivity during pandemics like COVID-19.

KEY WORDS: IPAQ; Social distancing; Home-based physical training

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