Analyzing the Difficulties of Continuing Physical Activity during the COVID-19 Crisis in France

Dumoulin C, Havet N, Lesueur JY.

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health / March 2022


Physical activity (PA) and limiting sedentary behavior have been recognized as health-promoting behaviors for many years. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, changes in lifestyle habits have occurred, causing disparities in PA practice. This article aimed to examine the characteristics of French adults who self-reported having difficulties in continuing their exercise practices during the pandemic. Multivariate logistic regressions were used to test whether certain demographic, morphologic, behavioral (sleep, sedentary lifestyle, extent of household chores), and exercise-related variables were significant predictors of experiencing such difficulties, based on data from an online survey of insurance company members. Difficulties in PA practice were found in 57% of the population surveyed. Several factors were identified as predictors of experiencing difficulties, including a high BMI, the type and number of physical activities usually practiced before lockdown, as well as the number of times per week dedicated to PA. For the employed population, specific factors were additionally decisive: sex, time spent in front of screens, and sleeping. Our results will allow public health policy makers and stakeholders in PA and prevention to better target populations in difficulty during periods of disruption, such as that of the pandemic; thus, allowing them to propose structural or organizational solutions for the continuity of PA practice.

See publication