Published: 2022-03-25

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on the lifestyle of people in India and its public health concern: an online survey using mHealth

Alex Eapen, V. M. Padmapriya, Muthusamy Ravi, Jaganathasamy Nagaraj, Radhakrishnan Kannan, Malathi Mathiyazhakan, Aridoss Santhakumar, Govindasamy Elavarasu, Kannamkottapilly Chandrasekharan Prajitha, Arumugam Elangovan


Background: The SARS-CoV-2 virus with the emergence of new highly transmissible variants at sporadic intervals has bought unparallel damage to global health not only by its direct effect on mortality but also through its impact on lifestyle diseases. This study aimed to understand the lifestyle changes that have occurred among people across India during the period of nationwide lockdown.

Methods: The present cross-sectional study was conducted among a large cross-section of people across India (n=1559) with mHealth technology using research electronic data capture (Redcap) platform. The online tool was pre-tested and validated and was disseminated through an easily accessible online social media platform. The online survey form was incorporated with a participant information sheet, an informed consent/assent form with an electronic signature capture method.

Results: Among the 1559 participants, 292 (18.72%) were of age less than 25 years, 724 (46.4%) were of age between 25 to 39 years, 384 (24.63%) were 40-54 years of age and 159 (10.19%) were of 55 years and above. The study results showed a significant change in weight across different age groups (p=0.041) and gender (p<0.001) during the lockdown period. The sleep pattern was affected during the lockdown period across different age groups (p=0.021) and gender (p=0.021). The level of physical activity has increased across different age groups (p=0.008) and gender (p=0.002) as compared to pre-lock down. A significant increase in the utilization of mobile (p=0.028) and television (p<0.001) was seen and is found to be more in males as compared to females.

Conclusions: The findings from this study clearly suggest that comprehensive health recommendations focussing on healthy lifestyle and individual wellbeing need to be implemented along with careful continuous monitoring at the grass-roots level to mitigate the negative impact of continuing pandemic restrictions and possible future lockdowns.


COVID-19 lockdown, Electronic data management, Lifestyle changes, Public health, India

Full Text:



WHO. Fact sheet: The impact of COVID-19 on global health goals. Available at: Accessed on 20 January 2022.

Azarpazhooh MR, Morovatdar N, Avan A, Phan TG, Divani AA, Yassi N, et al. COVID-19 pandemic and burden of non-communicable diseases: an ecological study on data of 185 countries. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2020;29(9):105089.

Sun W, Zhang Y, Wu C, Wang S, Xie Y, Zhang D, et al. Early vs. late onset cardiac injury and mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Wuhan. Front Cardiovasc Med. 2021;8:333.

WHO. Noncommunicable diseases in emergencies. Geneva: WHO; 2016.

Firstpost. Fact sheet: New guidelines for lockdown: modified rules to come into effect from 20 april; restrictions on agricultural activities, goods movement eased, 2020. Available at: Accessed on 20 January 2022.

WHO. Fact sheet: Healthy at home, 2022. Available at: Accessed on 20 January 2022.

PR national lockdown. Fact sheet: Government of India issues orders prescribing lockdown for containment of COVID19 Epidemic in the country, 2022. Available at: .in/sites/default/files/PR_NationalLockdown_26032020_0.pdf. Accessed on 20 January 2022.

Ministry of Home Affairs. MHA press release, 2022. Available at: media/mha-press-releases. Accessed on 20 January 2022.

Emily FP, Bardyn TP. Research electronic data capture (REDCap). J Med Lib Assoc. 2018;106(1):142-4.

Chopra S, Ranjan P, Singh V, Kumar S, Arora M, Hasan MS, et al. Impact of COVID-19 on lifestyle-related behaviours: a cross-sectional audit of responses from nine hundred and ninety-five participants from India. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2020;14(6):2021-30.

Narayanan L, Pandit M, Basu S, Karmakar A, Bidhan V, Kumar H, et al. Impact of lockdown due to COVID-19 outbreak: lifestyle changes and public health concerns in India. Preprint. 2020.

Nair DR, Rajmohan V, Raghuram TM. Impact of COVID-19 lockdown on lifestyle and psychosocial stress-an online survey. Kerala J Psychiat. 2020;33(1).

Rosenbaum DL, White KS. The relation of anxiety, depression, and stress to binge eating behavior. J Health Physcol. 2015;20(6).

Cecchetto C, Aiello M, Gentili C, Ionta S, Osimo SA. Increased emotional eating during COVID-19 associated with lockdown, psychological and social distress. Appetite. 2021;160:105122.

WHO. Fact sheet: Prevention and control of NCDs at core of COVID-19 response, 2020. Available at: Accessed on 20 January 2022.

Petrakis D, Margină D, Tsarouhas K, Tekos F, Stan M, Nikitovic D, et al. Obesity-a risk factor for increased COVID‑19 prevalence, severity and lethality (Review). Mol Med Rep. 2020;22(1):9-19.

Petrilli CM, Yang J, Chernyak M, Cerfolio RJ, Francois F, Horwitz H. Factors associated with hospital admission and critical illness among 5279 people with coronavirus disease 2019 in New York City: prospective COHORT study. BMJ. 2020:369.

Ding D, Cruz B, Green MA, Bauman AE. Is the COVID-19 lockdown nudging people to be more active: a big data analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2020;54(20):1183-4.

Kaur H, Singh T, Arya YK, Mittal S. Physical fitness and exercise during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative enquiry. Front Psychol. 2020;11:2943.

Peters R, Ee N, Peters J, Beckett N, Booth A, Rockwood K, et al. Common risk factors for major noncommunicable disease, a systematic overview of reviews and commentary: the implied potential for targeted risk reduction. Ther Adv Chronic Dis. 2019;10:2040622319880392.

Pandya A, Lodha P. Social connectedness, excessive screen time during COVID-19 and mental health: a review of current evidence. Front Hum Dyn. 2021;3:45.

Banerjee D, Meena KS. COVID-19 as an “Infodemic” in public health: critical role of the social media. Front Public Health. 2021;9:231.

WHO. Fact sheet: Statement-older people are at highest risk from COVID-19, but all must act to prevent community spread. Available at:,-but-all-must-act-to-prevent-community-spread. Accessed on 20 January 2022.

Banerjee D. Age and ageism in COVID-19: elderly mental health-care vulnerabilities and needs. Asian J Psychiatry. 2020;51:102154.

Daoust JF. Elderly people and responses to COVID-19 in 27 Countries. Plos One. 2020;15(7):0235590.

Kluge HHP, Wickramasinghe K, Rippin HL, Mendes R, Peters DH, Kontsevaya A, et al. Prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in the COVID-19 response. Lancet. 2020;395(10238):1678-80.