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The impact of Covid-19 lockdown on physical activity trends and changes in exercise patterns

What are we trying to do?
We will investigate the levels of physical activity among older adults prior to and during the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions along with examining barriers and facilitators to exercise.

 Why is it important?
There is growing concern that the lockdown measures introduced to combat Covid-19 may have inadvertently led to a reduction in physical activity, particularly among older adults. This is worrying as physical activity has been shown to be important in helping people to avoid falls and the mismanagement of long-term conditions as well as helping people to live happy and fulfilled lives.

How are we doing it?
Using a mixed methods study, we will undertake an analysis of self-reported exercise patterns, types of activities undertaken and an understanding of the factors that influence these exercise related decisions.

Using nationally representative data, we will explore changes in the levels of physical activity undertaken. We will do this nationally, regionally and locally. We will then establish which individual and area-level characteristics were predictive of reduced physical activity. This will help to identify groups of people who may be more vulnerable to falls, deconditioning and experiencing a reduction in their quality-of-life. This will be of particular importance during subsequent lockdowns.

Based on these findings, we also plan to design semi-structured interviews that would be conducted at local Greater Manchester level and the participants would be a range of different stakeholders of different age groups, locations, occupations and people with varying circumstances such as home-schooling parents, caregivers etc.

 Who are we working with?

For more information, please contact Alison Littlewood (Programme Manager).