Document Type : Original Article


Department of Sport Sciences, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran


Background and aims: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), immediate self-quarantine is assumed as the best course of action for highly contagious diseases. Since the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many individuals have become overweight and are also suffering from physical problems. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on interest in home-based exercise.
Methods: This digital epidemiological study used data sources outside the health system. This descriptive study with a comprehensive electronic systematic search in the Google Trends database using the keyword of “home-based exercise” retrieved the relevant data about the Internet search activity of Iranian community members. The data were accordingly obtained within two time intervals, i.e., from February 18, 2020 to October 18, 2020 and eight months prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 (June 18, 2019 to February 18, 2020). To analyze the data, the Wilcoxon test and the Spearman’s correlation coefficient were used.
Results: The results showed significant increase in “home-based exercise” Google search in the eight-month time interval during COVID-19 compared with the same period before the pandemic (P < 0.001). Moreover, there was a significant correlation between “home-based exercise” Google search and positive COVID-19 cases in the time intervals of February 18, 2020 to April 18, 2020 (r = 0.756, P = 0.0001), April 18, 2020 to June 18, 2020 (r = -461, P = 0.0001), but not June 18, 2020 to August 18, 2020 (r = 0.044, P = 0.737), August 18, 2020 to October 18, 2020 (r = 0.246, P = 0.056), and over time (r = -0.083, P = 0.0195).
Conclusion: The prevalence rate of the COVID-19 pandemic and social constraints including self-quarantine seem to have raised people’s interest in doing exercises, especially home-based exercises.


Main Subjects

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