The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Mobility Trends and the Associated Rise in Population-Level Physical Inactivity: Insights From International Mobile Phone and National Survey Data



Dobbie, Laurence J ORCID: 0000-0003-1908-848X, Hydes, Theresa J ORCID: 0000-0002-7768-6886, Alam, Uazman ORCID: 0000-0002-3190-1122, Tahrani, Abd and Cuthbertson, Daniel J ORCID: 0000-0002-6128-0822
(2022) The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Mobility Trends and the Associated Rise in Population-Level Physical Inactivity: Insights From International Mobile Phone and National Survey Data. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 4.

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Abstract

<jats:sec><jats:title>Introduction</jats:title><jats:p>The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced physical activity (PA) levels. This is important as physical inactivity is linked to poor COVID-19 outcomes. This study aimed to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on greenspace and residence mobility, walking levels and in turn how these translated to trends in (UK) PA levels.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Methods</jats:title><jats:p>Google Mobility Reports, the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker and Apple Mobility geospatial datasets were interrogated for international data. Residence mobility represents home mobility, greenspace mobility includes parks, walking direction requests is proportion of walking directions; stringency index measures lockdown intensity. The Sports England Active Lives Survey dataset was assessed for complementary changes in English PA levels.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Results</jats:title><jats:p>Using mobility data of 10 countries we observed that during lockdown there were reductions in greenspace mobility and walking directions alongside increased residence mobility; more pronounced changes were seen in countries with higher stringency indices. From a UK perspective, complementary English PA survey data demonstrated the impact of these mobility changes on the proportion and demographic characteristics of PA levels. The most vulnerable in society, the elderly (ages 75+) and Black and Asian minority ethnicity (BAME) individuals were more likely to become physically inactive.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Conclusions</jats:title><jats:p>The COVID-19 pandemic reduced greenspace mobility and walking direction requests globally. Complementary assessment of English PA levels demonstrated a greater proportion of the population became inactive. Demographics (75+ and BAME) prone to worse COVID-19 outcomes became disproportionately inactive. UK Urban planning should prioritize greenspace development. This could improve city walkability and PA levels.</jats:p></jats:sec>

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Clinical Directorate
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2022 10:35
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2022 00:10
DOI: 10.3389/fspor.2022.773742
Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.3389/fspor.2022.773742
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3152252