Covid-19 pandemic brings a sedentary lifestyle in young adults: A cross-sectional and longitudinal study

Chen Zheng, Wendy Y J Huang, Sinead Sheridan, Cindy Hui Ping Sit, Xiang Ke Chen, Stephen Heung Sang Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

160 Citations (Scopus)


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to pose profound challenges to society. Its spread has been mitigated through strategies including social distancing; however, this may result in the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle. This study aimed to investigate: 1) physical activity (PA) levels, sedentary behavior (SB), and sleep in young adults during the COVID-19 epidemic, and 2) the change in these behaviors before and during the pandemic. A total of 631 young adults (38.8% males) aged between 18 and 35 participated in the cross-sectional study and completed a one-off online survey relating to general information, PA, SB, and sleep. For the longitudinal study, PA, SB, and sleep data, obtained from 70 participants before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, were analyzed. Participants engaged in low PA, high SB, and long sleep duration during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, a significant decline in PA while an increase in time spent in both SB and sleep was observed during the COVID-19 outbreak. The results of this study demonstrated a sedentary lifestyle in young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic, which will assist health policymakers and practitioners in the development of population specific health education and behavior interventions during this pandemic and for other future events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6035
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary behavior
  • Sleep
  • Young adults


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