Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

COVID-19 Lockdown and Lifestyles – A Narrative Review

Version 1 : Received: 19 November 2020 / Approved: 20 November 2020 / Online: 20 November 2020 (10:03:00 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 13 March 2021 / Approved: 15 March 2021 / Online: 15 March 2021 (13:39:05 CET)

How to cite: Doraiswamy, S.; Cheema, S.; Al Mulla, A.; Mamtani, R. COVID-19 Lockdown and Lifestyles – A Narrative Review. Preprints 2020, 2020110532. Doraiswamy, S.; Cheema, S.; Al Mulla, A.; Mamtani, R. COVID-19 Lockdown and Lifestyles – A Narrative Review. Preprints 2020, 2020110532.


Background: While controlling the COVID-19 pandemic has been the primary objective worldwide, its effect on human behavior, altered lifestyles, and in turn, the impact on chronic non-communicable diseases cannot be ignored. Ten months into the pandemic, much-published literature has emerged on altered lifestyles following the lockdown measures imposed by governments all over the world to control the virus spread. Objective: In this narrative review, we explore the impact of lockdown measures on the six lifestyle factors – namely, diet, physical activity, sleep, stress, social connectedness, and the use of tobacco, alcohol, or other harmful substances. Methods: We searched PubMed and the World Health Organization’s global literature database on COVID-19 and included 298 articles. Using a meta-ethnographic approach, we provide an interpretative synthesis of relevant articles. Results: Among the six lifestyle factors, most of the retrieved articles focused on stress, emotional well-being, and physical activity. Fewer articles discussed alterations in dietary habits, sleep patterns, and the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other harmful substances. Most of the articles included in our review identified the negative effect of lockdown measures on each of the lifestyle factors in many parts of the world. Interestingly, encouraging lifestyle trends were also highlighted in a small number of articles included in our review. Such trends can positively influence the outcome of lifestyle-related chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. Conclusions: These unprecedented circumstances provide an opportunity to better understand the negative impact of strict lockdown measures on lifestyles, and at the same time, help identify and initiate positive behavioral changes, which if consolidated, may improve chronic disease outcomes in the long run. It would be up to governments, communities, and academia to learn - and benefit from lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic - with the ultimate objective of better educating and promoting healthy lifestyles among communities.


COVID-19; Lifestyle; Diet; Physical activity; Stress; Smoking; Substance; Alcohol; Emotional well-being; Social connectedness


Medicine and Pharmacology, Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases

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