Relationship Between Employment Status, Reported Physical Activity, and Sitting Time During COVID-19 Pandemic

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our working environment and divided workers into essential or nonessential statuses. Employment status is a major factor determining the amount of physical activity performed. Our purpose was to understand how employment status affects physical activity and sitting time. Methods: Between April 13 and May 4, 2020, 735 full-time employed individuals responded to a survey investigating daily life and overall health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants reported how much physical activity they had performed in the last 7 days. Multiple linear regressions were performed for physical activity and sitting time. Results: Physical activity was not associated with employment status. An interaction effect between hours worked and employment status was found for sitting time. Conclusions: Employment status was not related to physical activity; however, it did affect the amount of time spent sitting, with nonessential employees sitting more and working more hours than essential employees. Because greater amounts of daily total sitting time have been associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality, it is important that increased sitting time be attenuated by greater physical activity.

Lindsey, Merrigan, Cortes, Caswell, and Martin are with the Sports Medicine Assessment Research & Testing (SMART) Laboratory, School of Kinesiology, George Mason University, Virginia, USA. Boolani is with the Department of Physical Therapy, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, USA. Cortes is also with the Department of Bioengineering, George Mason University, VA, USA; and the Institute for BioHealth Innovation, George Mason University VA, USA.

Martin (jmarti38@gmu.edu) is corresponding author.
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