Changes in physical activity due to Covid lockdowns

March 10, 2021

Are we moving less since covid ?

I don’t want to offer an opinion on the appropriateness of government interventions and lockdowns of fitness facilities and outdoor exercise classes during Covid-19 but an interesting meta-analysis published in the open British Medical Journal of sports and exercise medicine highlights the issue of decreased aerobic activity.

The articles reviewed 66 published research which nearly all concluded that peoples physical activity had dropped significantly during Covid whilst sedentary activities like watching television had increased.

It’s not just the gym closures, its the fact that people where no longer commuting as much which means less trips to the bus top, less walking around workplaces and just doing less exercise in general.

This problem becomes even more pressing when you consider the new evidence outlining just how strong a predictor obesity is of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus‐2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) and mortality rates itself ( 2 ).

It’s estimated that western populations now face obesity rates of over 40% and several large studies point to obesity being a direct risk factor in the need for ventilation and other more higher level interventions. The risk of obesity can be summed up nicely by the graphic below.


From a public health perspective the issue of getting populations moving more and loosing weight is now more pressing than it ever was and if any good can come out of Covid the need to focus more on lifestyle medicine is more pressing than it ever was.

I’m guilty

So if you somebody like the me that lost their routine through Covid. At the start of all this they closed the dodgy little Kutchan gym that suited me needs nicely. The strange this is now it’s semi-reopened I still have not been back. Funny how good habits can be broken so easily and bad habits seem impossible to shake.

And if you share  complaints like me that me left knee and other little niggle points are now really sore since stopped my rehab program then I hope you may join me in trying to get our exercise routines back in place as we past the peak and start to move to final stretch of these crazy times.

If you would like to discuss this further or make an appointment with an english speaking chiropractor both in either Niseko or Okinawa you can so here 



  1. Stockwell S, Trott M, Tully M, et al
    Changes in physical activity and sedentary behaviours from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown: a systematic review
    BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine 2021;7:e000960. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2020-000960



2. Kwok S, Adam S, Ho JH, Iqbal Z, Turkington P, Razvi S, Le Roux CW, Soran H, Syed AA. Obesity: A critical risk factor in the COVID-19 pandemic. Clin Obes. 2020 Dec;10(6):e12403. doi: 10.1111/cob.12403. Epub 2020 Aug 28. PMID: 32857454; PMCID: PMC7460880.



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