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

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