Factors Associated with PA Level during the COVID-19 Outbreak in Serbia

Dragan Djurdjevic, Jovana Todorovic, Zorica Terzic-Supic, Pavle Piperac


Objective: The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has had an influence on almost the entire world and has become a major public health problem. Many countries have introduced measures that restrict the movement of the population and that may negatively influence the physical activity (PA) levels. The aim of this study was to examine the factors associated with changes in PA in Serbia during the COVID-19 outbreak. Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted from the 9th through the 13th of April 2020. A total of 340 people, all contacted using Viber, were invited to participate in the study. The study instrument was a questionnaire that gathered information regarding social characteristics, PA during the outbreak, PA before the outbreak, and fear of COVID-19. Results: A total of 50 participants (14.7%) had low levels of PA in the 7 days prior to the study, while 133 (39.1%) had moderate and 106 (31.2%) had high levels of PA. The participants with high levels of PA had significantly higher energy expenditures before than after the COVID-19 outbreak (P < .001). There were no significant differences between the participants with different levels of PA in the scores on the Fear of COVID-19 scale (low: 13.4 ± 5.2; moderate: 12.6 ± 4.4; high: 13.8 ± 5.5; P = .204). Conclusion: One-sixth of the participants had low PA levels, and as restrictive measures are still in place in many countries, the lack of PA in high proportions of the general population may cause significant public health concerns.


COVID-19; fear of COVID-19; physical activity; physical activity level; sedentary time

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