A Fast Track article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
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Emily Stevens
Paul Gallo
Jaimy Dyer
Ethan Balk


COVID-19 has presented challenges to public health, including mental and physical health risks attributed to reductions in physical activity (PA) and social isolation that resulted from quarantine. Barriers to community engagement and PA have persisted. In this paper, we review the literature on behavioral changes associated with COVID-19 on aerobic exercise, resistance training, and related mental and physical health outcomes, including barriers to PA, to guide recommendations for post-COVID community-based exercise programming.


We identified 63 relevant studies related to COVID-19 and PA (N = 22), aerobic exercise (N = 11), and discreet resistance exercise (N = 30). We reviewed studies while trying to focus on synthesizing the impact of the pandemic on rates of PA, barriers to PA, and resulting health outcomes to guide recommendations for post-pandemic community-based programming.


COVID-19 lockdown resulted in substantial reductions in PA, which led to increased risk for comorbidities attributed to inactivity and social isolation. Typical barriers to PA among adults were exacerbated with closure of gyms and balancing work and family care from home.


We recommend moderate physical activity, such as walking and discreet resistance training, for community-based programming in a post-pandemic society. These modes of exercise address key barriers to PA among community-dwelling adults.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
Article Link: hhttps://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/psp/hbpr/pre-prints/content-psp_hbpr_10_2_3