COVID-19 Pandemic Brings a Sedentary Lifestyle in Young Adults: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Aug 19;17(17):6035. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17176035.


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to pose profound challenges to society. Its spread has been mitigated through strategies including social distancing; however, this may result in the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle. This study aimed to investigate: (1) physical activity (PA) levels, sedentary behavior (SB), and sleep in young adults during the COVID-19 epidemic, and (2) the change in these behaviors before and during the pandemic. A total of 631 young adults (38.8% males) aged between 18 and 35 participated in the cross-sectional study and completed a one-off online survey relating to general information, PA, SB, and sleep. For the longitudinal study, PA, SB, and sleep data, obtained from 70 participants before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, were analyzed. Participants engaged in low PA, high SB, and long sleep duration during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, a significant decline in PA while an increase in time spent in both SB and sleep was observed during the COVID-19 outbreak. The results of this study demonstrated a sedentary lifestyle in young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic, which will assist health policymakers and practitioners in the development of population specific health education and behavior interventions during this pandemic and for other future events.

Keywords: COVID-19; physical activity; sedentary behavior; sleep; young adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / physiopathology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / physiopathology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Sleep
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult