Correlates of Perceived Physical Activity Transitions during the COVID-19 Pandemic among Canadian Adults

Ryan E. Rhodes*, Sam Liu, Alexander Lithopoulos, Chunqing ZHANG, Mauricio A. Garcia-Barrera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The purpose of this study was to explore socio-ecological predictors of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) as a result of the COVD-19 pandemic restrictions. Method: A representative sample of 1,055 English-speaking Canadians (18+ years) completed measures of MVPA during the COVID-19 restrictions and reflecting on MVPA prior to these restrictions, as well as demographics, COVID-19-related cognitions and behavior (i.e. perceived threat, social distancing), psychological factors (e.g. personality traits, habit, identity, strategic planning), social factors (e.g. dependent children, co-habitation), home environment affordances (exercise equipment, programming) and the neighborhood environment (e.g. access to outdoor recreation, neighborhood safety). Results: Participants perceived that they had decreased weekly MVPA (p <.01) and the availability of home equipment and strategic planning were critical predictors (p <.01). Profiles by MVPA guidelines, however, showed that 58 per cent of the sample had not changed and 6 per cent had increased MVPA. Identity was the critical predictor of the different MVPA profiles, followed by habit, extraversion, availability of home equipment, and the age of the participant (p <.01). Conclusion: Pandemic restrictions have affected the MVPA of many Canadians, and variables across the socio-ecological spectrum explain who has been able to maintain MVPA during this unprecedented time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1157-1182
Number of pages26
JournalApplied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Applied Psychology

User-Defined Keywords

  • habit
  • home environment
  • identity
  • personality
  • planning


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