The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have had significant impacts on various aspects of daily life, including physical fitness. It is important to understand the long-term effects of these lockdowns on individuals, particularly young adults, who may be at a crucial stage in their physical development and overall health.
A two-site retrospective study was conducted to investigate the long-term changes in physical fitness among young adults a year after the onset of the pandemic. University freshmen who underwent physical fitness tests in 2019 were included in the study group, and their results were compared to a historical control group who completed the same tests a year prior. A total of 5376 individuals participated in the study.
The findings of the study revealed that the study group experienced declines in various aspects of physical fitness compared to the control group. Anaerobic fitness decreased, with an overall difference of -0.84. Aerobic fitness showed significant declines for both males and females, with differences of -2.25 and -4.28 respectively. Explosive fitness also decreased (-2.68), and females experienced a decrease in upper-body strength (-1.52).
These results highlight the negative impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on the physical fitness of young adults. It is crucial to promote physical activity and exercise to prevent long-term health implications. Regular physical activity has been associated with a range of health benefits, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders.
While previous research has documented the acute effects of lockdowns, there is a limited body of research exploring the long-term effects. Most studies have relied on subjective fitness questionnaires, which may not provide an accurate representation of fitness changes compared to objective measurements. This study contributes to filling this gap in the literature by using a historical control group and objective fitness tests.
In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns have compromised the physical fitness of young adults. Continued efforts to promote physical activity and exercise are essential in order to mitigate the long-term health implications of these impacts.
– COVID-19 Lockdowns and Long-Term Changes in Physical Fitness Among Young Adults. [Study]
– Recommendations for Physical Activity in Young Adults [Guidelines]