The impact of Covid19 on Scottish older adults’ physical activity: changes and associations with wellbeing
Other authors: Gemma Ryde, Jenni Connelly, Bridgitte Swales, Jack Martin, Ilaria Pina, Kacey Neely, Pete Coffee, Andrew Kirkland, Federico Andreis, Louise McCabe, Karen Watchman & Anna Whittaker
Background: The benefits of physical activity (PA) on wellbeing have been demonstrated across the lifespan and can particularly benefit the wellbeing of older adults. The Covid19 social distancing guidelines have restricted social and PA engagement which has arguably had a greater impact on vulnerable groups including older adults, carers and people with co-morbidities.
Aim: The present study examined the impact of social distancing during the Covid19 pandemic on PA and wellbeing among Scottish older adults.
Methods: A mixed-methods online survey approach was used to examine current PA (IPAQ-short) and wellbeing (EQ5D-3L) and explore changes in these variables compared to before social distancing guidelines were imposed.
Findings: Participants (n=1429, 77% female) living in Scotland completed a survey open between ‘lockdown’ and ‘phase 3’; 1421 participants returned valid IPAQ data. IPAQ results did not differ across the phases of lockdown. Rural-dwelling participants reported greater volumes of PA (total, moderate and walking). The majority of the participants reported meeting PA guidelines (35.0% ‘moderately active’; 41.4% ‘highly active’). Walking was the greatest contributor to total PA for the sample (325.7±306.7min/wk of 624.8±559.9min/wk); 26.4% of the participants reported walking more compared to before lockdown, 40.0% reported walking less. For moderate PA, 13.6% reported doing more compared to before lockdown, 39.7% reported engaging in less moderate PA. Individuals who reported lower weekly volumes of PA, (total, moderate and walking) had poorer wellbeing