Abstract

Background: The purpose of this study was to explore perceived changes in physical activity (PA) due to Covid19 stay-at-home and social distancing guidance among older adults.

Methods: Participants (n = 1429, 77% female, 84% ≥60 years) living in Scotland completed an online survey in Summer 2020 measuring PA and wellbeing (indexed through loneliness, and health-related quality of life). The survey included open- and closed-ended questions about how these variables changed in response to Covid19 social distancing and ‘shielding’ guidelines. 

Results: From the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), the majority reported high volumes of PA, indicative of being ‘moderately’ or ‘highly’ active. When asked specifically about strength training, 12% reported engagement on ≥2d/wk. Most participants reported that PA had changed during this time, citing reduced use of exercise facilities, increased active travel, and online PA classes; although only 16% reported engaging in PA online.

Conclusions: Higher levels of PA were found to be associated with better health-related quality of life. Additional efforts should be made to support PA engagement in older adults, including strength training and other tailored approaches to support individual needs.

Rights

© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

Cite as

Tomaz, S., Ryde, G., Swales, B., Neely, K., Andreis, F., Coffee, P., Connelly, J., Kirkland, A., McCabe, L., Watchman, K., Martin, J., Pina, I. & Whittaker, A. 2022, '“… Exercise opportunities became very important”: Scottish older adults’ changes in physical activity during Covid19’', European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, 19(16). https://doi.org/10.1186/s11556-022-00295-z

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Last updated: 20 July 2022
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