Estimating changes in physical behaviour during lockdowns using accelerometry‐based simulations in a large UK cohort

Speirs, C ORCID:, Granat, MH ORCID:, Stamatakis, E and Hamer, M ORCID: 2021, 'Estimating changes in physical behaviour during lockdowns using accelerometry‐based simulations in a large UK cohort' , Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 31 (12) , pp. 2221-2229.

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Access Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Speirs, C., Granat, M., Stamatakis, E. and Hamer, M. (2021), Estimating changes in physical behaviour during lockdowns using accelerometry-based simulations in a large UK cohort. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.


To contain the recent COVID-19 outbreak restrictions have been imposed, which has limited outdoor activity. These physical behaviour changes can have serious health implications, but there is little objective information quantifying these changes. This study aimed to estimate the change in physical behaviour levels during full lockdown conditions using objective data collected from a thigh-worn activity monitor. Data used was from 6,492 individuals in the 1970 British Cohort Study, collected between 2016 and 2018. Using walking bout characteristics, days were classified as either "indoor only" (n=861), "indoor and exercise" (n=167) and "outdoor active" (n=31,934). When compared to "outdoor active" days, “indoor only” days had 6,590 fewer steps per day (2,320 vs 8,876, p < 0.001), a longer sedentary time (1.5 hours, p < 0.001), longer lying time (1.4 hours, p < 0.001) and shorter standing (1.9 hours, p < 0.001) and stepping (1.3 hours, p < 0.001) times. The "indoor and exercise" days had a smaller number of steps compared to "outdoor active" (7,932 vs 8,876, p < 0.05). There is a strong relationship between reduced daily stepping, and increased sedentary time, with a range of poor health outcomes. This has important implications for public health policy and messaging during pandemics.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** Article version: VoR ** From Crossref journal articles via Jisc Publications Router **Journal IDs: pissn 0905-7188; eissn 1600-0838 **History: issued 11-08-2021; published_online 11-08-2021 **License for this article: starting on 11-08-2021, ,
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0905-7188
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SWORD Depositor: Publications Router
Depositing User: Publications Router
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2021 07:21
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 16:38

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