This experiment examined physical activity (PA), sitting time, and satisfaction with life (SL) in European (45%) and Middle Eastern and North African (MENA; 55%) handball players (n = 418; age: 25.6 ± 6.8 years; body mass: 88.1 ± 11.7 kg; height: 1.83 ±  0.08 m) during the coronavirus (COVID)-19 pandemic. The International Physical Activity (IPAQ) and Satisfaction of Life (LS) Questionnaires were administered. All PA variables (vigorous, moderate, walking, total PA) were negatively influenced, but no interaction effects (IE; region x time) were observed. Sitting time increased from 2.5 to 4.9 h∙weekday-1 (ηp2=0.80) and walking time decreased from 66.8 to 33.5 min∙day-1 (ηp2=0.83). Based on effect sizes (d), pre- to during-confinement reductions were similar between regions (MENA: d=3.29; Europe: d=3.41; IE: ηp2=0.01). The largest regional difference was in moderate PA (MENA: d = 1.88; Europe: d=2.99; IE: ηp2=0.09). SL in the total sample reduced from 30.6 ± 2.02 to 13.9 ± 2.20 arbitrary units (AU). SL reduction was similar in both regions (dMENA=8.44; dEUROPE=8.06; IE: ηp2=0.01). To conclude, PA decreased during COVID-19 confinement, sitting time increased, and SL decreased irrespective of geographical region. These preliminary findings highlight risk of SL and physical inactivity during COVID-19 restrictions in 2021.


This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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Hermassi, S., Hayes, L., Sanal-Hayes, N. & Schwesig, R. 2021, 'Effect of coronavirus-19 restrictions in male handball players: physical activity, sedentary behavior, and satisfaction with life', Applied Sciences, 11(23), article no: 11373. https://doi.org/10.3390/app112311373

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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