Active Lockdown: Exploring the effect of government enforced lockdown on physical activity habits and the corresponding relationship with wellbeing

Warne, Samuel (2020) Active Lockdown: Exploring the effect of government enforced lockdown on physical activity habits and the corresponding relationship with wellbeing. Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/FFPE4210

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Whilst regular physical activity benefits our health, both physically and mentally, many people do not meet recommended activity levels - often because of a lack of enjoyment, motivation or spare time. The current study investigated whether the COVID-19 government-enforced lockdown in the UK in March 2020 (which saw many furloughed from their work and only able to leave the house to exercise or for essentially activities) influenced physical activity habits. An initial survey collected data around physical activity levels (both self-reported and via smart device activity trackers) for the week preceding lockdown and a week during lockdown. It also collected data on mental wellbeing during lockdown. A second survey collected the same measures (plus questions regarding motivations to exercise) once the lockdown restrictions eased and non-essential shops reopened. Analyses indicated that lockdown significantly increased the length of time participants spent engaging in physical activity compared to pre-lockdown levels, though metabolic equivalency and accelerometer data did not see such significant results. There was no statistically significant difference in physical activity levels in the period of eased-lockdown when compared to during-lockdown. Those with the perception of having more spare time during lockdown elicited significant effects in self-reported data, such that those with the perception did greater levels of physical activity than those without. However, when ‘eased lockdown’ data was examined, this was not deemed statistically significant. Correlational analyses examining the relationship between physical activity levels and mental wellbeing showed a significantly weak, positive relationship between self-reported physical activity and mental wellbeing during lockdown. The findings demonstrate that lockdown increased the total time people engaged in physical activity, though the activities were seemingly of low metabolic equivalency. Though when lockdown was eased, these levels did not differ significantly to during lockdown. Results also found that those with spare time during lockdown elicited greater self-reported physical activity levels than previously. The data also supported previous literature outlining the positive relationship between physical activity and wellbeing, despite the extremely negative circumstances that caused the lockdown.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Physical activity; Wellbeing; Covid 19 lockdown, England
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV191.2 Outdoor Life. Outdoor recreation.
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2021 13:14
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:04

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