Publication details

Psychosocial correlates of physical activity resilience: the case of step counts during the COVID-19 pandemic



Year of publication 2023
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
Description Physical activity (PA) resilience describes a process of returning to pre-stressor PA levels following a stressor event, which had caused a sudden decrease in PA. As sufficient levels of PA provide benefits to mental and physical health, we evaluate the resilience process and its predictors, here in the case of the first COVID-19 lockdown. We analyzed 110 participants (44% women; Mage=40, SD=9.4, 19-65) who i) were in the longitudinal Healthy Aging in Industrial Environment study both 4 months pre- and post lockdown start date and ii) experienced a 10% decrease in steps during lockdown compared to their pre-lockdown levels. Daily steps were measured using Fitbit and adjusted for seasonality. PA resilience was calculated using the relative area under the curve of the step count trajectory after the lockdown started. Predictors of resilience, measured via online questionnaire (at least 4 months pre-lockdown), were mapped against the COM-B model: mental health status and PA self-regulation (capabilities), population density (opportunity), intrinsic motivation (motivation). Among the 110 participants, 59 recovered to their pre-lockdown PA levels within 4 months; average recovery time was 48 days (SD=33). Better pre-lockdown mental health status (ß=.259, p=.006, R2=.065) and stronger PA self-regulation skills (ß=.212, p=.032, R2=.039) were linked with higher resilience. Other predictors were not significant. We show that more capabilities are related to higher resilience in step counts against COVID-19 lockdown. This stresses the importance of evaluating the resilience process and its predictors to direct interventions and help individuals maintain healthy PA levels.

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