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How Did the COVID-19 Confinement Period Affect Our Physical Activity Level and Sedentary Behaviors? Methodology and First Results From the French National ONAPS Survey

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: The French National Observatory for Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors conducted a national survey aiming to evaluate the potential effects of confinement on the population’s physical activity levels and sedentary behaviors. Methods: In close collaboration with the French Ministry of Sports and a selected expert committee, 3 different questionnaires investigating 3 subgroup populations were included in the survey: (1) children, (2) adolescents, and (3) adults. Results: Forty-two percentage of children, 58.7% of adolescents, 36.4% of adults, and 39.2% of older people had reduced physical activity levels. Particularly, active transportation and endurance practices showed a significant decrease, while domestic, muscular strengthening, and flexibility activities increased. Sitting time and screen time increased, respectively, in 36.3% and 62.0% of children, 25.5% and 69.0% in adolescents, 24.6% and 41.0% in adults, and 36.1% and 32.1% in seniors. Conclusion: The COVID-19 confinement period led to important modifications in individual movement behaviors at all ages, particularly favoring decreased physical activity and increased sedentariness. These findings suggest that the authors need to inform and encourage people to maintain and improve their physical activities and to change their sedentary time habits during postconfinement and during the period of a potential future lockdown.

Genin, Larras, Thivel, and Duclos are with the National Observatory for Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors (ONAPS), Clermont-Ferrand, France. Genin and Thivel are also with the Laboratory of the Metabolic Adaptations to Exercise under Physiological and Pathological Conditions (AME2P), Clermont Auvergne University, EA 3533, Clermont-Ferrand, France. Lambert and Pereira are with the Biostatistics Unit (DRCI), Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand, France. Toussaint is with the IRMES, INSEP, Paris, France; EA 7329, Paris University, Paris, France; and the CIMS, Hôtel-Dieu, Public Assistance—Paris Hospital, Paris, France. Baker is with the Faculty of Sports Science, Ningbo University, Ningbo, China; and the Department of Sport, Physical Education and Health, Centre for Health and Exercise Science Research, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China. Tremblay is with the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF), University of Laval, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Thivel and Duclos are also with the INRAE, UNH, CRNH Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France. Duclos is also with the UFR Medecine, Clermont University, University of Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France; and the Department of Sport Medicine and Functional Explorations, Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital, G. Montpied Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand, France.

Genin (p.genin@onaps.fr) is corresponding author.

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