Physical Activity, Nutritional Habits, and Sleep Behavior Among Health Profession Students and Employees of a Swiss University During and After COVID-19 Confinement: Protocol for a Longitudinal Observational Study

JMIR Res Protoc. 2020 Dec 22;9(12):e25051. doi: 10.2196/25051.


Background: SARS-CoV-2, a novel coronavirus strain, has resulted in the COVID-19 pandemic since early 2020. To contain the transmission of this virus, the Swiss Federal Council ordered a nationwide lockdown of all nonessential businesses. Accordingly, students and employees of institutions for higher education were informed to continue their academic programs through home-office settings and online lectures.

Objective: This longitudinal survey aims to evaluate various lifestyle habits such as physical activity, nutritional habits, and sleep behavior among students and employees of a Swiss University of Applied Sciences during a 2-month period of confinement and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and 1 year thereafter.

Methods: This paper describes a protocol for a retrospective and prospective observational cohort study. Students and employees of Bern University of Applied Sciences, Department of Health Professions, were invited to anonymously complete a web-based survey during the COVID-19 confinement period. This will be followed by a second survey, scheduled 1 year after the lockdown. Information on various lifestyle aspects, including physical activity, nutritional habits, and sleep behavior, will be collected using adaptations of existing validated questionnaires.

Results: This longitudinal study started during the government-ordered confinement period in Switzerland in mid-April 2020 and will end in mid-2021.

Conclusions: The findings of this survey will provide information about the impact of confinement during the COVID-19 crisis on the physical activity, nutritional habits, and sleep behavior of students and employees of a Swiss institute.

Trial registration: NCT04502108;

International registered report identifier (irrid): DERR1-10.2196/25051.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; healthy lifestyle; pandemic; public health; universities.

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