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Australians’ physical activity declines during Coronavirus lockdown

Australians’ physical activity declines during Coronavirus lockdown
May 4, 2020

Despite the visible signs of families cycling, walking and running through the suburbs, research undertaken by sport and entertainment consultancy Gemba suggests that 44% of Australians are actually doing less physical activity now than before the Coronavirus lockdown.

Gemba reports that the constraints of the Coronavirus lockdown have forced many to try new activities (a quarter of Australians have taken up a new form of exercise during the lockdown), and to explore online fitness classes and tools.

While Gemba's report, Physical Activity during COVID-19 Lock-Down: Insights into Australians' Physical Activity and Fitness during the COVID-19 Lock-Down, shows a number of positive indicators of certain demographics undertaking more activities, overall it shows 44% of Australians are doing less physical activity now than before the Coronavirus lockdown - with the decline most marked in the 30 to 39 years age (63% doing less activity compared with 17% doing more) and 50 to 59 years age groups (48% doing less activity compared with 14% doing more).

Only the 40 to 49 age cohort has maintained activity levels during the Coronavirus shutdown, with all other ages showing declining activity.

Among areas of positivity within the Gemba report, more than half of 18-29 year-olds are walking more now than they used to, and a third are running more while, overall 25% of Australians are walking more and 30% have tried online exercise programs.

Gemba's report also explores the link between physical activity and mental health during lockdown, with 43% of people who are exercising more finding lockdown to be challenging for their mental health – the same as those who are exercising less - although Gemba make no correlation between physical activity and whether or not someone is finding the lockdown challenging for their mental health.

Of those who are doing less exercise, 28% disagree that lockdown has been challenging for their mental health (but 66% say it’s been bad for their physical fitness).

Click here to download Physical Activity during COVID-19 Lock-Down: Insights into Australians' Physical Activity and Fitness during the COVID-19 Lock-Down from Gemba's website.

Image courtesy of Fitbit. Tables courtesy of Gemba.

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-owner / Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

As of 2020, he has launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

Read more from this author

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