Predisposition To Lifestyle-Associated Conditions During The COVID-19


In result analysis among the study participants, there was a dramatic decrease in the individuals involved in the active category of exercises after the COVID-19 lockdown. Before the COVID-19 lockdown, 47% of the participants were in the active class, while after the lockdown, the percentage drastically fell to around 11%. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2018) and World Health Organization (2018) guidelines indicate that an adult should at least take part in 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises. The guidelines dictate that they should at least participate in 75 to 150 minutes of high-intensity exercises; thus, an individual matching these guidelines is regarded as being in the active category of exercising. Therefore, about 90% of the participants fell below the World Health Organization (2018) guidelines that recommend all adults engage in regular physical activities. The percentage drop meant that the adults became more sedentary during the COVID-19 lockdown. These exercises recommended by the WHO have tremendous health benefits to the person undertaking these exercises. Thus, more people are more likely to be predisposed to lifestyle-associated conditions such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and stroke during the COVID-19 lockdown.


In the study, about 49% of the participants recognized themselves as moderately active exercisers before the lockdown, while after lockdown, 47% regarded themselves as moderately active exercisers. World Health Organization (2018) guidelines show that individuals participate in about 30 to 139 minutes of exercise or walking a week. It is a slight drop in the percentage of moderately active exercisers, but the trend observed is that COVID-19 lockdown generally led to the decrease in the rate of inactive and moderately active exercisers. Thus, there was a rise in the surge in the sedentary lifestyle during the lockdown; high sedentary behavior is strongly correlated with disastrous health outcomes, all of which cause an increase in mortality, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cancer. The restrictions enforced during the coronavirus pandemic, such as prohibiting entry to certain places, could have contributed to this slight drop in the individuals who regarded themselves as moderate-exercisers. The fear of contracting the diseases, as the viral particles of SARS-CoV-2 are airborne, might have decreased the moderately participating participants in these exercises.

In the result analysis, around 4% of the participants thought they fell in the inactive class of exercisers before the lockdown. The number tremendously increased to about 42% after the lockdown. These individuals engaged in less than 30 minutes of active exercises per week, which is an alarming percentage, potentially dangerous to human health. World Health Organization (2018) guidelines on physical activity necessitate that individuals participate in at least 20 to 40 minutes of active exercise per day for improved health benefits. Bull et al. (2020) further stress that adults need to engage in an average of 10 minutes of high intensity per day. The dramatic increase in the inactive exercisers during COVID-19 post lockdown further proves an increase in the adults’ sedentary behavior, critically detrimental to their health. Adults who are not actively participating in activities and have no associated health contradictions must incorporate exercise in their routine, as per the World Health Organization (2018) exercise guidelines. Sedentary behavior must be dampened to reduce the number of chronic lifestyle diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus; these are preventable if people cautiously undertake physical exercises as a priority.

Adults must minimize the time spent in sedentary activities and replace them with physical exercises. An approximate increase in 38% of the study participants who became inactive in physical exercises is an alarming number. It is recommended that adults endeavor to participate in moderate-to-vigorous physical activities to actualize their health benefits. Bull et al. (2020) advise adults that participating in any physical exercises is better than not participating in any. According to the World Health Organization (2018) report, properly planned and regulated physical activities can prove crucial in weight management, reducing the risk of chronic illnesses, improving mental health, and strengthening bones and muscles. Jakobsson et al. (2020) showed that the body quickly responds to decreased physical activity, reducing cardiopulmonary fitness and insulin insensitivity. Thus, increasing the number of people engaging in sedentary behavior are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus and respiratory and cardiac conditions. Jakobsson et al. (2020) showed that it is detrimental for a person with obesity, decreased fitness levels, and altered immune system when exposed to coronavirus. Several deleterious effects of coronavirus are pneumonia, lung damage, deranged coagulation arrangement, and kidney and cardiac injury.

There is a high likelihood that more people participants gained weight in the post-COVID-19 lockdown as there was an increase in the participants who did not actively engage in exercises. In the results obtained from the study population, around 48% of the participant weighed 46 to 70 kgs pre-lockdown, while a drastic drop to 9% was observed in the participants who weighed 46 to 70 kgs post-lockdown. In continuation, around 46% of the study participants weighed 71 to 80 kg pre-lockdown, while 59% weighed 71 to 80 kgs post lockdown. The COVID-19 restrictions reduced people’s movements, and thus most resolved to adopt the sedentary lifestyle (Füzéki et al., 2020). The increase in the percentage of the participants weighing 71 to 80 kgs during lockdown may be attributed to the individuals adopting a sedentary lifestyle which is correlated with increased inactivity status.

The general trend observed was a general decrease in the participants who weighed 46 to 70 kgs and an increase in the study participants who weighed 71 to 80 kgs. Perhaps, this can be attributed to the shift of weight of some of the study participants from 46 to 70 kgs category to 71 to 80 kgs category. Exercise plays a crucial role in the oxidation of subcutaneous adipose tissue, responsible for obesity in many people. Thus, there was an increased risk among the study participants of becoming obese because of their inactive status. Obesity is strongly correlated to many lifestyle-associated diseases such as hypertension, diabetes type II, and stroke (Pinto et al., 2020). The increased body fat deposition is linked with decreased insulin sensitivity, thus predisposing one to hyperglycaemic blood levels.

Obesity is highly correlated to episodes of stroke and hypertension among people. The increase in weight among the study participants during the lockdown increased their risk for hypertension and stroke. Exercise helps in the cholesterol oxidation deposited in the intimal layer of blood vessels. According to Bull et al. (2020), this deposition leads to luminal narrowing of blood vessels, thus increasing the predisposition to hypertension and stroke among these individuals. There were 1.2% of the participants who weighed below 45kgs before the lockdown, while none weighed below 45% after the lockdown. The social-cognitive theory dictates that an individual’s behavior is determined by personal, environmental, and self-efficacy. The surrounding environment of the prevalence of COVID-19 might have deterred the study participants from engaging in exercises, thus the increase in weight among these study participants. They could have observed the behavior of their colleagues in the surrounding environment concerning exercising patterns in the COVID-19 lockdown and thus decided to copy the behavior.

There was a dramatic increase in the percentage of participants who weighed over 80kgs after the lockdown as it rose by approximately 27%. This rise in the participants weighing 80kgs and above shows that more individuals were prone to developing problems associated with increased weight gain, such as diabetes, hypertension, and stroke. Vigorous exercises have been shown dramatically lead to efficient management of weight. It has been proven to help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, while moderate-intensity exercises have been proven to lower respiratory tract infections prevalence (Polero et al. 2020). The increase in weight during the lockdown correlates to the increased number of participants who became inactive in exercising; this proves increase in the sedentary lifestyle is associated with increased weight gain. Being physically active is one of the crucial interventions that any adult can endeavor to maintain their health in good condition. The health benefits commence immediately after exercising, thus reducing the individual’s risk of having these lifestyle-associated diseases.

Exercise plays a central role in managing mental health problems among people. Therefore, a higher percentage of participants suffered the harmful impact of poor mental health in COVID-19 post lockdown as around 42% of the participants were inactive in exercising in COVID-19 post lockdown. Pfefferbaum and North (2020) support these claims as it indicates that even the movement restrictions contributed to poor mental health. People lost their close friends and relatives because of the coronavirus, and thus many suffered posttraumatic stress because of the pandemic. Others even lost their employment, and the increase in inactivity during the lockdown worsened these mental health problems. Pfefferbaum and North (2020) report that many people in the COVID-19 showed many emotional outcomes such as depression, stigma linked with quarantine, boredom, frustration, anger, confusion, and irritability. A higher percentage of participants faced poor mental health problems because of the reduced exercise. The theory of planned behavior shows that an individual’s positive and programmed intentions, attitudes, and regulation of a person’s behavior are crucial in creating a healthy behavior. Even under the COVID lockdown, individuals can endeavor to have a positive mind and attain the recommended physical activity guidelines.

The statistics indicated that 12% of the participants had any fitness training before the COVID-19 lockdown. However, the number increased tremendously during the post-COVID-19 lockdown, where approximately 84% did not practice physical activity after the COVID-19 lockdown. A higher percentage of participants who engaged in fitness exercises before the lockdown, approximately 88%; this may be due to reduced movement restrictions before the lockdown. About 16% of the participants still engaged in fitness training after the lockdown; more people were restricted from participating in exercises safe for their health. Füzéki et al. (2020) showed that there had been detrimental psychological, economic, social, and economic consequences because of the coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing and quarantine have driven to minimize physical activities among people globally. Exercise is regarded as a subcategory of physical activity to enhance physical fitness through structured, planned, and repetitive techniques. Jakobsson et al. (2020) showed that the sedentary behavior adopted by many people during the coronavirus pandemic was correlated with high risks of depression, coronary vascular diseases, cancer, diabetes type 2, mortality, and coronary vascular disease. The reduced participation of people in exercises during lockdown means an increased risk of suffering from the above comorbidities.

Approximately 7% of the participants exercised 30 minutes or less per week before the COVID-19 lockdown, while 48% of the participants after the lockdown. Exercising for 30 minutes per week is inactive exercising, which is below the stipulated World Health Organization (2018) guidelines, requiring adults to participate in at least 150 to 300 minutes per week. Therefore, the number of participants who took part in inactive exercises rose during the post-COVID-19 lockdown by approximately 41%. These idle exercises do not significantly help prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension; thus, more people had an increased risk of suffering from these chronic illnesses during the post-COVID-19 period. Pinto et al. (2020) argue that physical inactivity during the COVID-19 is linked with poor mental health and poor health status. The most suggested physical activities, especially for the adults, encompass aerobic activities such as walking, running, exercising on static machines, going upstairs and downstairs, performing household chores, and running. During the lockdown, the chance of performing these exercises, such as walking or running, is reduced because people are restricted from one place to another.

Approximately 19% of the participants exercised for more than an hour before the COVID-19 lockdown, while only about 5% exercised for more than an hour after the lockdown. It shows that the number of participants engaging in more intense exercises dropped after the lockdown. About 72% of the participants exercised for over 2 hours before the COVID-19, while only approximately 15% engaged in it after the lockdown. Thus, it can be concluded that coronavirus significantly impacted negatively the number of hours people exercise per week. Polero et al. (2020) argued that aerobic exercises are encouraged to improve physical, physiological, and psychological as they improve insulin sensitivity, increase muscle strength, improve sleep quality, and decrease stress. Pinto et al. (2020) showed that COVID-19 established an environment that promotes decreased habitual exercises due to quarantine and self-isolation requirements, decreased opportunities to remain active physically, and the fear of acquiring the virus. Even with these restrictions, individuals can endeavor to reach the World Health Organization (2018) guidelines of 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercises. Such individuals can focus on performing exercises in their houses, such as setting up an exercise room.

Before the COVID-19 lockdown, only 1.2% of the participants had never engaged in exercises, but the number dramatically rose to around 32.5% after the lockdown. It further shows that many people adopted the sedentary lifestyle in the lockdown, as indicated by the increase in the number of participants who had never exercised. In the results, 26.5% of the participants rated their physical health excellent before the COVID-19, while 3.6% rated their health status as fair or poor. The poor health in the lockdown can be attributed to diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and stroke, which come from reduced exercise intensity and duration, and coronavirus could be a significant contributory factor to poor health (Polero et al., 2020). 25.3% of the participants regarded their overall health as good before the lockdown, while 36% after it. Approximately 44.6% of participants rated their physical health as very good, while the number dropped to 9.6% after the lockdown. The decreased number of people who regarded their health as very good can be attributed to the coronavirus disease and the diseases that come along with a reduced exercise rate.

Before the lockdown, approximately 12% of the participants were exercising alone. The percentage rose to about 19% because of the restrictions. Thus, some people were forced to stay in their houses and exercise; thus, the increase in the number of participants exercising alone. Before lockdown, approximately 81% of the participants exercised in the sports club, outdoor, and gym before COVID-19 lockdown, and the number drastically decreased to around 7% after COVID-19 lockdown. Pinto et al. (2020) stated that the coronavirus pandemic had reduced the exercising opportunities presented to the people. The number of participants who engaged with online support increased tremendously during the lockdown compared to before. The COVID-19 pandemic witnessed an increase in the hosting of online meetings. Thus, the percentage of the participants who resolved to use online platforms to support their exercising behavior.

Some nations were forced to regulate the activities of meeting places, such as sports clubs and gyms, to fight the spread of the virus. According to Lippi et al. (2020), the SARS-CoV-2 virus has an increased risk of human-human transmission; thus, people feared gathering in places. 6% of the participants exercised with a friend while 1.3 during the pandemic, The altered mental health status because of the trauma the effects of the pandemic caused to the people drove to a reduction in the number of people showing interest to exercise. Thus, the above findings dictate the variances in the behavior of exercising among the participants before and after the coronavirus pandemic. The primary reasons for undertaking exercise interventions include weight management, mental health, physical health, and improvement of self-esteem and socialization. An obese person is likely to face stigmatization from society, thus reducing his socialization and self-esteem levels. An individual can adopt the transtheoretical model and undergo the six stages to make the exercise behavior permanent. The initial stage is pre-contemplation, where an individual may be demoralized. It is followed by contemplation, which precedes the preparation stage, and lastly, maintenance of the behavior.

More than half of the participants acknowledged that COVID-19 restrictions affected their exercising levels, while 3.6% disagreed, 44.4% partially agreed, while 2.4% somewhat disagreed. Approximately 90% of the participants did not increase exercise levels because of COVID-19, while 8.4% of the participants had the motivation, 3.6% had noted an increased body weight, while 1.3% had more available time to improve their exercise. Jakobsson et al. (2020) argued that 300 minutes of moderate rate exercise or around 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity are highly recommended. Increasing the level of training would significantly help prevent and manage many diseases and conditions. Ding et al. (2017) claimed direct and indirect costs due to physical inactivity cost many nations vast sums of money. These costs can be avoided through people’s upgraded efforts in exercising based on the recommended guidelines; these saved costs may be diverted to other sectors of the economy.

Many participants agreed that COVID-19 restrictions affected these stipulated timelines of exercising. Jakobsson et al. (2020) suggested that muscle-strengthening exercises, performing house chores, stair climbing, and walking should be performed during the coronavirus crisis. Individuals must follow the guidelines stipulated under World Health Organization (2018) guidelines or U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2018) as the risk of illness may be increased during a period of heavy exertion. The transtheoretical theory can help an individual realistically adopt the recommended exercise guidelines. The person undergoes about six stages of behavior that begin with the person’s demoralization. Individuals do not want to exercise, think about exercising, and occasionally start doing exercises. The person then starts exercising regularly below six months, and the timeline gradually increases to exercising over six months and then permanently develops the behavior. This theoretical model can be crucial to individuals who have never started engaging in exercises.

Approximately 15.7% of the participants refuted that COVID-19 lockdown did not decrease their physical exercising activities, while about 84.3% of the study participants agreed that the lockdown had negatively impacted their exercising. Approximately 28% of participants thought that laziness negatively impacted their exercising activities, 4% because of injuries, 22.7 because of lack of interest, 37.3% because of lack of motivation and 8% was because of other reasons. The fear of people contracting the coronavirus and others having the diseases adversely impacted the sample number of willing and able people to undertake various exercise activities. Some reasons for the decrease in exercise the participant gave are tightly correlated with mental health. These encompass decreased motivation and interest, resulting from the coronavirus pandemic’s psychological effects. Pinto et al. (2020) suggested that the sedentary lifestyle among individuals during the coronavirus is associated with increased signs of mental distress and poor overall life quality. From the study participants, more preferred exercising indoors even if there was no COVID-19; a difference of approximately 4% was noted. The preference for a particular training venue is determined by many factors, which vary from person to person.

In conducting the t-test to establish a difference in the level of interest before and after the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, the results showed a substantial difference. A mean (M) of 8.47 and a standard deviation of 1.51 were obtained before the COVID-19 lockdown, while an M value of 4.95 and SD of 2.14 were obtained for the after COVID-19 lockdown; t(82)=10.9, p<0.01. Thus, the null hypothesis must be rejected as the results show a remarkable difference in the interest in exercising before and after the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. Various studies support the rejection of the null hypothesis got from these results. Lachman et al. (2018) documented that lack of knowledge about the exercise’s benefits, the failure of self-regulatory, and decreased motivation play a significant role in determining the interest in practice. The COVID-19 pandemic altered many people’s mental health globally, which resulted in the discrepancies in the level of motivation people have in doing many things, including exercising. The decreased level of inspiration to engage in different things during the pandemic must have contributed to the alteration of interest level in exercising during the post-COVID-19 lockdown.

Literature supports a tremendous difference in exercising before and after the COVID-19 lockdown. Pinto et al. (2020) reported a notable rise in physical inactivity due to isolation, quarantine, and lockdown restrictions. They linked physical inactivity to noted poor disease-related outcomes such as obesity, muscular weakness and atrophy, decreased physical function and capacity, insulin resistance, cardiorespiratory diseases, and poor quality of life. Thus, the reduced interest level in exercising noted in post-COVID-19 lockdown significantly predisposed the population to the above comorbidities. Pinto et al. (2020) documented that COVID-19 lockdown was associated with poor mental health status, a significant factor determining exercise levels among people. The authors advocate that all healthcare practitioners must endeavor to prescribe physical activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jakobsson et al. (2020) noted in just one week of inducting sedentary behavior that there is a harmful consequence on depression and mood. These are significant factors that would determine if one would be reluctant or not in exercising. Jakobsson et al. (2020) established that increased physical exercise enhances cardiovascular functionality and protects the cells from stress. Thus during the lockdown, reduced activity risked people suffering the above comorbidities.

Logic regression was done to establish the exercising interest levels before and after the pandemic and weight range before and after the pandemic. If the level of involvement in exercising during the post-lockdown period increases, the participants will start engaging in different exercises. The COVID-19 pandemic created an environment of a decreased rate of physical activity among the people. The psychological status of the people was significantly altered during the lockdown; this encompasses the reduction in the rate of interest in exercising among people (Pinto et al., (2020). Finding ways that can help improve the level of interest in exercising among the individuals would significantly help them enhance their interest in exercising. These ways may encompass increasing the level of knowledge among people on the significance of exercising and advising people to cope with the impacts of COVID-19. Weight range of 46 to 70 kgs among the study participants adversely predicted the probability of being inactive after the COVID-19 lockdown. Perhaps, the individuals in this weight category felt that they had the standard weight, and thus they became easily predisposed to the likelihood of becoming physically inactive after the coronavirus pandemic.

Regression analysis was done to determine whether gender practiced any physical fitness before the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, and interest level in exercising before the pandemic predicts the exercising level after the pandemic. The results found that the level of exercising before the COVID-19 pandemic does not forecast the exercising level after the pandemic. The coronavirus came with challenges that led to many people changing their routine practice due to the restrictions enforced and the virus’s natural transmission. The adaptation to the regulations, such as locking sports clubs and gyms to combat the spread of the virus, became a challenge to those who were even previously engaged in exercise activities. Polero et al. (2020) argued that the recommended types of physical exercising during the COVID-19 pandemic were running, walking, doing house chores, exercising on static machines, and going up and down the stairs. Thus, the pandemic reduced the avenues where people could get an opportunity to perform these simple aerobic exercises as people developed the fear of contracting the virus. Therefore, the behavior of exercising before the coronavirus pandemic did not necessarily mean that the individual would continue exercising after the pandemic.

The main limitation that the study faced was the size of demographics; only 38 males and 45 females were found eligible for the study. The coronavirus pandemic affected many nations globally, and thus taking such a small population size may fail to give a true reflection on some parameters on exercising. The small sample size may lead to a collection of unreliable data as Mumbai has a high population, and thus a sample of 83 participants may fail to reflect the actual results correctly. The inclusion of only English speakers was a limitation as COVID-19 does not only affect the English speakers. Using adverts on Facebook and Twitter could have driven to including an unwanted population within the study, thus compromising the integrity of the results. Some recommendations from the studies on physical exercising were general and before the pandemic; therefore may not reflect the guidelines of exercising under the COVID-19.


Research has been done, but it is recommended that extensive studies be done to understand the relationship between exercise and pandemics, especially in COVID-19. The relevant health organizations and personnel must bolster their efforts in encouraging people to undertake exercises seriously even under pandemics. Participating in physical activity is better than not taking part in any. Adults must include cardiorespiratory and muscular-strengthening exercises in their weekly schedule to attain the recommended 150 to 300 minutes weekly of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity workouts. There should be a structured and well-organized program that should help the people exercise even when future lockdowns are implemented. People must be educated and sensitized on the significance of exercising to improve their health status and reduce their predisposition to diseases such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and stroke.


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