Changes in physical activity, sitting and sleep across the COVID-19 national lockdown period in Scotland

Janssen, Xanne and Fleming, Leanne and Kirk, Alison and Rollins, Lesley and Young, David and Grealy, Madeleine and MacDonald, Bradley and Flowers, Paul and Williams, Lynn (2020) Changes in physical activity, sitting and sleep across the COVID-19 national lockdown period in Scotland. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 (24). 9362. ISSN 1660-4601 (

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We examine the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and concomitant restrictions (i.e., lockdown) on 24-hour movement behaviors (i.e., physical activity, sitting, sleep) in a purposive sample of people (n = 3230) reporting change recruited online. Participants’ self-reported time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), walking, sitting and sleep prior to lockdown (T1), during the first national lockdown (T2) and as restrictions initially started to ease (T3). For each 24-hour movement behavior, category-shifts are reported (positive, negative or did not change), as well as the percentage of participants recording positive/negative changes across clusters of behaviors and the percentage of participants recording improvement or maintenance of change across time. From T1 to T2 walking decreased, whereas MVPA, sitting and sleep increased, from T2 to T3 levels returned to pre-lockdown for all but MVPA. Participants who changed one behavior positively were more likely to report a positive change in another and 50% of those who reported positive changes from T1 to T2 maintained or improved further when restrictions started to ease. The current study showed that a large proportion of the sample reported positive changes, most notably those displaying initially poor levels of each behavior. These findings will inform salutogenic intervention development.