Effect of the COVID-۱۹ Pandemic on Interest in Home-Based Exercise: An Application of Digital Epidemiology

Publish Year: 1400
نوع سند: مقاله ژورنالی
زبان: English
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تاریخ نمایه سازی: 10 خرداد 1400


Background and aims: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), immediate self-quarantine is assumed as the best course of action for highly contagious diseases. Since the coronavirus disease ۲۰۱۹ (COVID-۱۹) pandemic, many individuals have become overweight and are also suffering from physical problems. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of the COVID-۱۹ pandemic on interest in home-based exercise.   Methods: This digital epidemiological study used data sources outside the health system. This descriptive study with a comprehensive electronic systematic search in the Google Trends database using the keyword of “home-based exercise” retrieved the relevant data about the Internet search activity of Iranian community members. The data were accordingly obtained within two time intervals, i.e., from February ۱۸, ۲۰۲۰ to October ۱۸, ۲۰۲۰ and eight months prior to the outbreak of COVID-۱۹ (June ۱۸, ۲۰۱۹ to February ۱۸, ۲۰۲۰). To analyze the data, the Wilcoxon test and the Spearman’s correlation coefficient were used.   Results: The results showed significant increase in “home-based exercise” Google search in the eight-month time interval during COVID-۱۹ compared with the same period before the pandemic (P < ۰.۰۰۱). Moreover, there was a significant correlation between “home-based exercise” Google search and positive COVID-۱۹ cases in the time intervals of February ۱۸, ۲۰۲۰ to April ۱۸, ۲۰۲۰ (r = ۰.۷۵۶, P = ۰.۰۰۰۱), April ۱۸, ۲۰۲۰ to June ۱۸, ۲۰۲۰ (r = -۴۶۱, P = ۰.۰۰۰۱), but not June ۱۸, ۲۰۲۰ to August ۱۸, ۲۰۲۰ (r = ۰.۰۴۴, P = ۰.۷۳۷), August ۱۸, ۲۰۲۰ to October ۱۸, ۲۰۲۰ (r = ۰.۲۴۶, P = ۰.۰۵۶), and over time (r = -۰.۰۸۳, P = ۰.۰۱۹۵).   Conclusion: The prevalence rate of the COVID-۱۹ pandemic and social constraints including self-quarantine seem to have raised people’s interest in doing exercises, especially home-based exercises.


Sajad Bagherian

Department of Sport Sciences, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran

Majid Mardaniyan Ghahfarrokhi

Department of Sport Sciences, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran

Ebrahim Banitalebi

Department of Sport Sciences, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran