"Habits of physical activity during the period of prophylactic social confinement - Covid-19"

The decrease in physical activity during confinement had a greater impact on the population over 65 years old and on women, according to the conclusions of the questionnaire on “Habits of physical activity during the period of prophylactic social confinement - Covid-19” promoted for the Tempo Livre, through the Center for Sport Studies.

Those over 65 and women were, in fact, the groups that revealed that they were feeling the negative impacts of confinement more and, in the case of women, it is particularly relevant, in addition to the issue of physical activity, that related to eating habits and altered sleep routines. There is also a pertinent conclusion that establishes a direct relationship between the practice of physical activity during confinement and the perception of a good mental condition. In addition to the question of physical condition whose relationship is more obvious, it also appears that those who are practicing physical activity say they feel better mentally.

Conducted between March 27 and April 16, the study aimed to assess and compare physical activity habits of the population of Guimarães - before and after the prophylactic social confinement period resulting from the Covid-19 outbreak - the eventual change in eating habits and the eventual alteration of sleep routines. 384 people responded to the survey, with the stratification of age groups applied by the intervals of the Instituto Nacional de Estatística (Censos 2011).

Most of the people who answered the questionnaire said they practiced physical activity regularly, before confinement, maintaining a strong tendency (73%) to continue the practice after the limitation was decreed. A total of 319 individuals (83% of the sample) said they practiced physical activity before the pandemic and 280 (73%) said they continued to practice during confinement.

The reduction in the practice of physical activity is more pronounced in the age group over 65 years, which has increased from 85% (before confinement) to 56% (during confinement), with a notable decrease in women whose practice of physical activity has decreased from 84% to 72% (before and after confinement). In the age group from 40 to 64 years old, there was also a fall from 81% to 75%.

Of the respondents who practice physical activity in confinement, 55% do it on their own initiative and 26% follow advice and exercise suggestions through social networks, with 33% doing it at home, with a regularity above four times a week (34 %) and lasting 30 to 45 minutes (40%).

In the self-assessment of the perception of physical condition and mental condition, most respondents positioned themselves at level 3 (on a scale of 1 to 5), noting, with regard to mental condition, a tendency towards positioning towards the levels more positive (4 and 5). Male respondents responded more at levels 4 and 5 in the analysis of the levels of physical and mental condition. The study of Tempo Livre it also concludes that the average level of physical condition during confinement is higher in those who practiced physical activity before confinement, when compared to those who did not practice physical activity.

It is also notorious, according to the analysis, that the positive perception of the mental condition decreases slightly at older ages and that in relation to the positive perception of the level of physical condition this is higher in the age group from 20 to 39 years old.

The study carried out by Tempo Livre reveals that 54% of people did not change their eating habits, with a percentage of 37% who said they were more careful, especially in the 20-39 and 40-64 age groups. Women assumed they were less careful with their diet than men.

As for sleep routines, 57% of the people who answered the questionnaire said they had not changed their sleeping habits, but in this case there are 26% of people who assume that they started sleeping worse, this trend being more evident in the 20 age groups. -39 and 40-64 years old and in women.

The questionnaire “Habits of physical activity during the period of prophylactic social confinement - Covid-19”, the report of which can be accessed here, also allowed to conclude that the majority of respondents miss socialization (118), freedom (93) and of affectivity (61). People in the 20 to 39 age group miss socialization (39%), freedom (21%) and affection (12%) more. People in the age group of 40 to 64 years, miss more freedom (28%), socialization (27%) and physical activity (19%). People in the age group above 65 years old report feeling more lack of socialization (27%), affection (24%) and freedom (12%).

Comparatively, female people miss affection and routine more, while male people miss socialization and physical activity more. Only male people responded that they did not miss anything.

It is recalled that Tempo Livre, to keep in touch with its users, with the community and support people in confinement, launched the “Stay at home and stay active” initiative through which it offers classes and exercise tips.
With the transversal involvement of all its technicians and teachers, in addition to the prescription of physical exercise with a universal character, the Tempo Livre it also provided specialized online classes for pregnant women and seniors, in the extension of the Barriguinhas Desportistas and Vida Feliz projects.

The “Stay at home and stay active” initiative involved 21 exercise technicians, having produced more than 100 videos, corresponding to about 20 hours of content available at http://www.facebook.com/tempolivre and on the Youtube channel of Tempo Livre (here).

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