Showing posts with label COVID-19. Show all posts
Showing posts with label COVID-19. Show all posts

Detrimental effects of COVID-19 lockdown on sports and athletes

>> September 11, 2021

The lockdowns imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic have had multifaceted effects on athletes, impacting their physical fitness, training routines, mental well-being, and career opportunities, among other aspects of their professional and personal lives. 

Recently, a global study investigated training-related knowledge, beliefs, and practices of 12,526 athletes from 142 countries and six continents during the COVID-19 lockdown (Washif et al., 2021). 

Based on this study, most athletes wanted to maintain training and disagreed with the idea of not training during lockdown. However, they had moderate knowledge and beliefs about training disruptions, de-training, and their effects. 

Furthermore, the study reported that during lockdown, athletes trained alone and focused on general fitness and health maintenance. Specific training, such as endurance and interval training, was challenging to maintain at pre-lockdown levels. 

The authors also noted that training frequency, duration, and intensity were reduced for most athletes. 

The study provides insights for policy makers, athletes, and their teams regarding lockdown challenges, and ideas to adapt training practices during similar disruptions. 

More insights regarding the general impact of lockdown on athletes from the study and other resources, are provided below.

Physical, physiological, and performance effects 

Decreased fitness levels as a result of lack of regular and intensive training, which affects cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, and endurance, etc. 

Weight gain or loss. Changes in dietary habits (in negative ways), combined with decreased physical activity, have negative impacts on athlete's body composition. 

Reduced skill proficiency due to missing regular practice that diminish skill levels in certain sports (particularly those that requires sophisticated equipment). 

Increased injury risks from a sudden resumption of intense training post-lockdown. 

Mental and emotional effects 

Mental health concerns may be triggered due to increased feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress, resulted from uncertainty about the future and disruptions in routine. 

Lack of motivation, as a result of the absence of competitions, as well as structured training and regular interaction with teammates. 

Concerns about returning to pre-lockdown performance levels may also induce stress. Changes in routine and environment (home training; limited resources) can lead to distractions and decreased concentration. 

Athlete's career and future 

Lost opportunities, e.g., sponsorship deals. Missing key events may impact athlete ability to look for, or be scouted or gain sponsorships. 

Extended lockdowns or multiple lockdowns can potentially shorten the career span of athletes, especially in sports with "limited active years."

Nevertheless, it's worth noting that lockdown effects can vary depending on the athlete's sport, level of professionalism, geographical location, among others. 

For example, the Washif et al. (2021) study outlined that higher level athletes (e.g., world class, international-level) had better access to resources and were more receptive to remote coaching. 

"Higher level athletes had a stronger desire to maintain training, retained training specificity to a greater degree, had better access to resources, and were more receptive to remote coaching compared to lower level athletes during the COVID-19 lockdown" (Washif et al., 2021). 

Lockdowns significantly altered athletes' lives and routines, impacting physical health, mental well-being, and career trajectories, highlighting the need for specific assistance, as well as adaptability and resilience in unprecedented times.

Washif JA, Farooq A, Krug I, Pyne DB, Verhagen E, Taylor L, et al. Training during the COVID-19 lockdown: knowledge, beliefs, and practices of 12,526 athletes from 142 countries and six continents. Sports Medicine. 2021; 1-16. (Link)


Effects of Home Confinement on Training Habits and Injury in Long Distance Runners

>> December 18, 2020

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, policies of social distancing became commonplace in different places or countries. 

Athletes who are typically active and 'busy' (training and competition) were suddenly required to stay at home.

The influences of such restrictions in training habits and injury in youth long-distance runners were unknown.

A recent study by Bazett-Jones and colleagues (link below) found that COVID-19 social distancing restrictions significantly impacted youth long-distance runners' training habits, injuries, and care seeking behaviors. 

Specifically, during the confinement period, youth long-distance runners decreased their training activities (as follows), possibly due to extrinsic factors such as motivation.

  • Weekly running distance
  • Number of weekly runs
  • Number of weekly hard runs 
Interestingly, the number of reported injuries decreased significantly for the group during the COVID-19 quarantine, and cited to be due to decreases in training volume and intensity.

Running habits and injury incidence before and during COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.

Number of self-reported injuries before and during COVID-19 restrictions by location and injury type.

From one perspective, reduced injuries (because of home confinement) is good. However, in a case of you got injured during the quarantine period, it would be more challenging for athletes to receive a proper treatment.

Indeed, the study also reported that the runners, actually reduced their visits to health care providers during quarantine by 3.6 times (i.e. 58.5%  from 16.4% before lockdown), most probably due to movement restrictions, etc. 

The outcomes suggest that "strategic plans to maintain access to medical services" during such event (quarantine) is necessary. 

In summary, the authors highlighted that "COVID-19 pandemic resulted in significant decreases in both training and injuries." 

The authors further clafiried that their findings were different compared to previous reports in an adult population. 

Read more: 



To be updated




To be updated



Copyright © 2009-2018, . All Rights Reserved . Policy . Term of Use
Sports Top Blogs Sports blogs & blog posts Free Web Stats

Back to TOP