Objective: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to summarize evidence regarding differential changes in physical activity (PA) involvements and exercise habits in people with and without chronic diseases during the COVID-19 outbreak. Data Sources: MEDLINE, Embase, SPORTDiscus, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, and Physiotherapy Evidence Database were searched from November 2019 to May 2021. Study Selection: Two reviewers independently screened cross-sectional and longitudinal studies that investigated changes in PA-related outcomes in people with and without chronic diseases during the pandemic. Data Extraction: PA-related outcomes and sedentary time were extracted from the included studies. Relevant risk of bias were assessed. Meta-analyses were conducted for each PA-related outcome, if applicable. Quality of evidence of each PA-related outcome was evaluated by Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation. Data Synthesis: Of 1226 identified citations, 36 articles (28 with and 8 without chronic diseases) with 800,256 participants were included. Moderate evidence from wearable sensors supported a significant reduction in pooled estimates of step count (standardized mean differences [SMD]=−2.79, P<.01). Very limited to limited evidence substantiated significant decreases in self-reported PA-related outcomes and significant increases in sedentary behaviors among people with and without chronic diseases. Specifically, pooled estimates of metabolic equivalent-minute per week (SMD=−0.16, P=.02) and PA duration (SMD=−0.07, P<.01) were significantly decreased, while sedentary time (SMD=0.09, P=.04) showed significant increases in the general population (small to large effects). Very limited evidence suggested no significant PA changes among people in a country without lockdown. Conclusions: During the pandemic, objective and self-reported assessments showed significant reductions in PA in people with and without chronic diseases globally. This mainly occurred in countries with lockdowns. Although many countries have adopted the “live with the coronavirus” policy, authorities should implement population-based strategies to revert the potential lockdown-related long-term deleterious effects on people's health.
- Exercise habit
- Sedentary behavior
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation