The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on physical activity and weight gain among active adult population in Israel: a cross-sectional study

Horesh Dor-Haim, Sara Katzburg, Polla Revach, Hagai Levine, Sharon Barak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The COVID-19 outbreak holds public health concerns. The stay-at-home increases sedentary behavior, with unintended adverse outcomes. Since organized recreation and sports facilities were closed, we aimed to study how the crisis of closure affected exercise habits and weight gain among the trainee population in Israel. We examined differences in weight gain among individuals with different PA activities and assessed their ability to adapt to digital media as an alternative training structure. Methods: A cross-sectional survey consisted of a multiple-choice questionnaire obtained using a web-based survey application. Trainees (1202) who exercised steadily anonymously answered the questionnaire sent by their coaches regarding their activity and weight gain during lockdown times. Results: Results confirmed that 70% of Israelis trained less than their usual routine, 60% used digital media for training, 55% gained weight. Half of the respondents gained more than 2 kg, with an average increase of 1.2 kg. However, those who exhibited a higher physical activity level gained less weight. Using digital media for training was associated with higher physical activity levels. The aged population was less likely to use digital media. Conclusions: Since increased sedentary behavior could increase the risk for potential worsening of health conditions, health agencies should look for strategies, including digital remote media training to promote physical activity and subsequently, preventing the increased burden of future comorbidities worsening by a sedentary lifestyle. Approval: by the Helsinki ethics committee of Sheba Medical Center (6504–19-SMC).

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1521
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Digital fitness modalities
  • Exercise
  • Fitness applications
  • Health status
  • Physical activity
  • Weight

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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