The ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on perceived physical activity, physical function and mood of older adults in the U.K: A follow-up study (March 2020-June 2021)

Darren L Richardson, Jason Tallis, Michael J Duncan, Neil D Clarke, Tony D Myers

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Abstract

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its variants, continue to spread globally more than two years after the discovery of the wild-type virus in Wuhan, China. Following the onset of COVID-19, fluctuating restrictions have likely impacted the daily lives of older adults living in the United Kingdom (UK). Subsequently, the longer term effects of COVID-19 on physical activity levels, perceived physical function and mood of older adults are unclear. Therefore, the present study aimed to follow a group of older adult's living in the UK for one year, to monitor physical activity levels, perceived physical function and mood. A longitudinal, mixed-methods, observational study was conducted using self-administered, online surveys at 3-month intervals between March 2020 and June 2021. A total of 100 participants (46 males [age: 76 ± 5 years] and 54 females [age:74 ± 4 years]) completed all surveys. Bayesian analysis allowed calculation of direct probabilities whilst incorporating our prior knowledge. Throughout this period, older adults maintained or increased their pre-lockdown physical activity levels despite a decrease in intensity of effort of physical activity tasks, whilst sitting time increased at two of the follow-up time-points. Furthermore, perceived physical function decreased (ps = 91.78%;>1.21 AU) and mood undulated in a pattern that reflected the tightening and easing of restrictions. Despite total physical activity being maintained, perceived physical function decreased by a small but clinically meaningful margin. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.]
Original languageEnglish
Article number111838
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental gerontology
Volume165
Early online date23 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 May 2022

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the CC BY license

Keywords

  • Physical activity
  • COVID-19
  • Older adults

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