Background. The COVID-19 lockdown could engender disruption to lifestyle behaviors, thus impairing mental wellbeing in the general population. This study investigated whether socio-demographic variables, changes in physical activity, and sleep quality from pre-to during lockdown were predictors of change in mental wellbeing in quarantined older adults. Methods. A 12-week international online survey was launched in 14 languages on 6 April 2020. Forty-one research insti-tutions from Europe, Western-Asia, North-Africa, and the Americas, promoted the survey. The survey was presented in a differential format with questions related to responses “pre” and “during” the lockdown period. Participants responded to the Short Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) questionnaire, and the short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Results. Replies from older adults (aged >55 years, n = 517), mainly from Europe (50.1%), Western-Asia (6.8%), America (30%), and North-Africa (9.3%) were analyzed. The COVID-19 lockdown led to significantly decreased mental wellbeing, sleep quality, and total physical activity energy expenditure levels (all p < 0.001). Regression analysis showed that the change in total PSQI score and total physical activity energy expenditure (F(2, 514) = 66.41 p < 0.001) were significant predictors of the decrease in mental wellbeing from pre-to during lockdown (p < 0.001, R2: 0.20). Conclusion. COVID-19 lockdown deleteriously affected physical activity and sleep patterns. Furthermore, change in the total PSQI score and total physical activity energy expenditure were significant predictors for the decrease in mental wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4329
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

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/).


  • Aging
  • Home confinement
  • Lifestyle behaviors
  • Pandemic
  • Wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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