Objective: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a decrease in physical activity (PA) related to home confinement has been reported worldwide. However, some individuals were able to engage in physical activities at home. Thus, in a perspective of public health, it may be useful to analyse the available evidence regarding PA adopted during home restrictions, in order to identify possible strategies to help people stay active even during emergency situations. The aim of this review was to analyse how healthy individuals spontaneously exercised at home in the course of the pandemic, in order to detect possible factors associated with this behaviour. Study design: A systematic review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Methods: The protocol was registered in PROSPERO, an international prospective register of systematic reviews, with the registration number CRD42023394673. A literature search was conducted in PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Cross-sectional studies published in English from the inception of each database to February 06th 2023 and focused on healthy individuals practicing spontaneous PA/exercise at home during the pandemic were considered eligible. The quality assessment was performed using the adapted Newcastle–Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale. Bibliographic information, sample size, study paricipant/population with age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, education, smart workers or not, anthropometric parameters, characteristics of at home exercises, athletic status and sedentariness, associated health-related effects, and main findings were synthetised. Results: From 504 articles, 19 were included. Notwithstanding the differences in the studies examined, the majority of them reported that previous PA level was associated with exercise in such challenging conditions. Furthermore, technologies aimed at supporting exercise were shown to be a useful resource. Conclusions: Being habitually active and using digital supports may be associated with a positive attitude towards exercise at home during isolation. This suggests that in emergency situations, exercise should be promoted, also through digital media, especially among those groups who are usually less engaged in PA. Further analyses of longitudinal studies are needed to confirm these findings.
Liguori G.;Galle F.
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