Effects of COVID-19 lockdown on physical activity and satisfaction with life in Qatar: a preliminary study

Souhail Hermassi*, Maha Sellami, Ahmad Salman, Abdulla S. Al-Mohannadi, El Ghali Bouhafs, Lawrence D Hayes, René Schwesig

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study examined effects of home confinement on physical activity (PA) and life satisfaction during the COVID-19 outbreak in Qatar. A total of 1144 subjects participated (male: n=588; female: n=556; age: 33.1 ± 11.1 years; mass: 76.1 ± 16.4 kg; height: 1.70 ± 0.11 m; BMI: 26.1 ± 4.44  kg/m²). Online survey questions considered “before” and “during” confinement. Confinement reduced all PA intensities (ηp2=0.27-0.67, p<0.001) and increased daily sitting time from 3.57 ± 1.47 to 6.32 ± 1.33 hours per weekday (ηp2=0.67, p<0.001). The largest reduction was detected for the sum parameter all physical activity (minutes per week, ηp2=0.67, p<0.001; MET-minutes/week, ηp2=0.69,p<0.001). Life satisfaction decreased, with the score for "I am satisfied with my life" (ηp2=0.76,p<0.001) decreasing from 28.1 ± 4.81 to 14.2 ± 6.41 arbitrary units (AU). Concerning life satisfaction, the largest change was detected for the statement “the conditions of my life are excellent” (dmale=7.93). For all parameters, time effects were indicative of large negative effects in both genders. In terms of magnitude, the difference between gender was greatest for the parameter “the conditions of my life are excellent” (difference between groups, d=4.84). In conclusion, COVID-19 confinement decreased PA, increased sitting time, and decreased life satisfaction in Qatar. These precautionary findings explicate the risk of psychosocial impairment and the potential physical harm of reducing physical activity during early COVID-19 confinement in 2020.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2021


  • SARS-CoV-2
  • lockdown
  • public health
  • physical activity
  • sedentary behavior
  • home confinement
  • lifestyle and contentment


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