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433 COVID-19 and sports – an online survey on the impact of the pandemic and possible preventive measures
  1. Friedemann Schneider1,
  2. Armin Runer1,6,
  3. Francesco Burkert2,
  4. Jesse Seilern Und Aspang3,
  5. Holm Schneider4,
  6. Elena Pocecco5
  1. 1Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine II, Infectious Diseases, Pneumology, Rheumatology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  3. 3Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  4. 4Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
  5. 5Department of Sports Science, Medical Section, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  6. 6Department for Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany


Background The COVID-19 pandemic led to the implementation of worldwide governmental restrictions and preventative measures with large impact on social life.

Objective To investigate the effects of the pandemic on individual and general sport activities in an effort to provide information for safe return to community sports.

Design An electronic survey was launched in June 2020 in German and English language. The anonymous questionnaire collected epidemiological data and responses ’before’,’during’ and ’after’ confinement conditions. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis were used.

Setting Most participants practiced their sport in Europe (93.9%); 68.5% were active athletes, 10.1% coaches, 10.1% had other sports functions, 11.3% indicated no regular sports activity.

Participants 1336 adults (30.5±11.7 years; 54.0% women) participated in the survey.

Assessment of Risk Factors Risk factors for a serious course of COVID-19 disease were queried.

Main Outcome Measurements The type, extent and intensity of physical activity were defined as main outcome measures.

Results During confinement, 15.7% could perform their main sport unrestricted, 43.5% stated a reduced amount of time spent on sporting activities, 46.4% a reduced intensity level. Most participants were neither aware of screening measures (77.5%) nor of guidelines for dealing with infected athletes (80.0%) or for return to sports after a coronavirus infection (88.6%). Preventive measures mentioned included basic hygiene, measures to reduce personal contacts or virus transmission, or to improve traceability. During confinement, higher age (p = 0.004) and training in a club-setting (p < 0.001) were associated with reduced sporting activity, while the availability of online training (p = 0.030) was linked to increased extent and intensity levels. Lower age (p = 0.001) and recreational sports level (p = 0.005) were associated with decreased activity after confinement.

Conclusions While isolation is a necessary measure to protect public health, it also alters physical activity.

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