Emerging adults’ lives have changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Physical activity (PA) behaviors need to be examined to inform interventions and improve health. Responses to the C-EAT (COVID-19 Eating and Activity over Time) survey (N = 720; age = 24.7 ± 2.0 yrs) were analyzed. This mixed-methods study quantitatively examined changes in self-reported PA (hours/week of mild PA, moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), and total PA) from 2018 to 2020. Qualitative responses on how COVID-19 impacted PA were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Hours of PA were lower on average for all intensity levels during COVID-19 than in 2018 (p’s < 0.0001). Over half of the sample reported a decrease in MVPA (53.8%) and total PA (55.6%); 42.6% reported a decrease in mild PA. High SES were more likely to report an increase in total PA (p = 0.001) compared to those of lower SES. Most (83.6%) participants perceived that COVID-19 had influenced their PA. The most common explanations were decreased gym access, effects on outdoor PA, and increased dependence on at-home PA. Results suggest that emerging adults would benefit from behavioral interventions and health promotion efforts in response to the pandemic, with a focus on activities that can be easily performed in the home or in safe neighborhood spaces.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||International journal of environmental research and public health|
|State||Published - Apr 1 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Grant Number R35HL139853 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (PI: Neumark-Sztainer). S.L.H.?s time was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (Grant Number: T32MH082761, PI: S. Crow). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the National Institute of Mental Health; or the National Institutes of Health.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Physical activity
- Young adults