Older Adults’ Physical Activity and Social Participation During COVID-19

These research project examined how COVID-19 disrupted older adults’ physical and social participation and the challenges that the recreation sector faces in adapting programming in light of COVID-19.

exercise in covid-19

More information about this project

The purpose of this research was to understand how COVID-19 the experiences of adults aged 65 and older regarding changes in physical activity and social participation resulting from the COVID-19 shutdowns, and their perspectives on precautionary measures and alternate forms of program delivery as well as to identify the challenges faced by the recreation sector in adapting programs for older adults following COVID-19. 

To address this purpose, we conducted an online survey and conducted interviews with adults aged 65 and older and community experts working in the recreation sector with experience in older adult programming.

This project was funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Grant.

Older Adults' Physical Activity and Social Participation During COVID-19

This study examined changes in social participation and physical activity during COVID-19 and perceptions of precautionary measures and online or outdoor classes in 155 older adults. Social participation, resistance, and flexibility physical activity declined, while mild physical activity increased. Understanding behavior and receptivity to precautions helps providers adapt to COVID-19.

Morrison, L., McDonough, M., Won, S., Matsune, A. J., & Hewson, J. (2022). Older Adults’ Physical Activity and Social Participation During COVID-19. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 1-23. doi:10.1080/01924788.2022.2094658

Understanding the challenges of COVID-19 on older adults’ participation in social and physical activities

Qualitative interviews were held with a subsample of older adults from the survey and community experts who work in the recreation sector with adults aged 65 and older to discuss barriers to physical and social activities as a result of COVID-19, perspectives on participating in recreation in various forms (e.g., online, in-person) and challenges, barriers and opportunities within the recreation sector to adapt programming as a result of COVID-19.

Paper coming soon!