Sports and Exercise Medicine Lab.
Changes of Physical Activity Pattern and Metabolic Syndrome during the COVID-19 Pandemic: the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2019-2020
Yunseo Choi, Seungwoo Shin, Juseong Lee, Junghoon Kim*
2022 Conference on Kinesiology in Conjunction with the 23rd Annual Meeting of Kinesiologists
Since COVID-19 was first reported in 2019, it has become a global pandemic and have a great impact on our lifestyle. Several governments and international academic societies have recommended physical activity during the pandemic to prevent the negative health effects due to sudden reduction in physical activity. However, it has not been reported change of people’s lifestyles during the social distancing period in South Korea. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate changes in lifestyle, including physical activity, before and after the COVID-19 pandemic using data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) in adults aged ≥20 years, 2019 to 2020. We also aimed to investigate the change of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its risk factors.
For this study, we selected 10,882 adults (2019: N=5,710 and 2020: N=5,172) aged ≥20 years who completed the health-related survey and examination from a total of 15,469 participants. Domain-specific physical activity (activity at work, recreational activities, travel to and from places, and sedentary behavior) was measured using global physical activity questionnaire. We also measured at typical sleep duration (hours/day) on weekdays and weekends, respectively. MetS was defined as having more than 3 risk factors.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of abdominal obesity and MetS was significantly increased in young and middle-aged male (+6.3% for MetS in male, P=0.0001). In addition, adherence to guideline for aerobic physical activity was significantly decreased in young male. However, adherence to guideline for muscular activity was increased in young (+6.5%) and older female (+3.8%) groups. The elevated risk of MetS was observed in lower aerobic (OR=1.33, P=0.026) and muscular activity (OR=1.36, P=0.022) groups in male, and muscular activity (OR=1.74, P=0.001) and sedentary behavior (OR=1.34, P=0.016) in female after pandemic.
In conclusion, we found that the adherence to guidelines for leisure time physical activity was remains low, when compared to the pre-pandemic level, there was no significant difference. Although sedentary behavior and sleep time were not changed, and most decrease of physical activity observed in transportation-related physical activity during COVID-19. Our findings suggest that the professional kinesiologists and researchers may have to aim to create an environment where people can safely maintain a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, even amid a pandemic such as COVID-19.