Physical activity behavior in people with multiple sclerosis during the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel: Results of an online survey

Alon Kalron, Mark Dolev, Michal Greenberg-Abrahami, Shay Menascu, Lior Frid, Sharon Avrech-Shezifi, Gil Harari, David Magalashvili, Anat Achiron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiple sclerosis (MS) itself and first-line disease modifying therapies do not increase the risk of contracting COVID-19. However, home isolation is likely to result in a significant decrease in participation in leisure time physical activities and an increase in sedentary behavior. Therefore, using an online cross-sectional survey we examined the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on physical activity (PA) behavior and fitness level in an Israeli cohort of people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). The survey PA questionnaire included 10 questions. Specifically, participants reported on whether, and to what extent, the pandemic conditions had altered their PA behavior. One hundred and twenty PwMS filled out the online survey, 78 were females with a mean age of 43.0 (S.D.=12.9) years. PA behavior during the pandemic demonstrated that 17.5% who were engaged in PA before the COVID-19 pandemic, ceased PA, 33.3% reduced their PA, 20.0% continued their PA as before, 18.3% increased their PA during the pandemic, and 10.8% did not perform any PA in the past and did not so during the pandemic. As for the patient's self-reported fitness level, 31.7% reported that their fitness level had decreased during the pandemic, 60.0% felt no change, and 8.3% reported an improvement. Our findings serve as a call of action for all professionals involved in MS management to address physical activity behavior in PwMS during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102603
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Physical activity
  • Physical fitness

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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