Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology



First Advisor

Alessandra Adami


First reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, Coronavirus disease- 2019 (COVID-19) quickly spread around the world, impairing global health, changing social interactions, and negatively impacting the worldwide economy while rising by the end of 2020 as one of the top causes of death in several countries, like the United States. In attempt to limit the community spread of COVID-19 disease and lessen the impact on healthcare services, restrictions were implemented including stay-at-home orders, shielding, wearing masks, and working from home requirements. Restrictions posed challenges, particularly to the elderly and those with chronic diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), already at greater risk of poor quality-of-life (QoL) and inactivity. Aim. To determine impact of COVID-19 restrictions on physical activity, COPD-related symptoms (e.g., dyspnea, fatigue), and QoL in smokers with and without COPD. Methods. Of the 58 eligible participants, 24 COPD patients and 17 smokers with normal spirometry (CON) enrolled in the Muscle Health Study completed a 7-day triaxial accelerometry for physical activity, daily PROactive questionnaire, symptom (mMRC, HADS, CAT) and QoL (SGRQ, SF-36) questionnaires, before and after the implementation of COVID-19 restrictions. Following COVID-19 restrictions, participants completed COVID-19 questionnaires to compare changes in activity, symptoms (e.g., fatigue, loss of smell and taste, fever), and behavioral patterns (PBRC, PBRC Sleep, COPDGene COVID-19 survey, PSI, CRISIS). Results. The COPD walked less than CON before (Steps/day, p=0.006) but not after restrictions. Among CON, the decrease in steps/day (-742 ± 2986 count/day) exceeded the clinically-meaningful difference (>350-1100) and was larger than in COPD (NS). Both groups decreased the daily time spent in activity (walking time) or standing, and were more sedentary (sitting, lying; NS). Symptoms (dyspnea and fatigue) and QoL were worse in CON, but not COPD (p=0.36). In both groups, 50% of responders reported increased daytime dozing during the pandemic. No participants were diagnosed with COVID-19. Conclusion. Overall COVID-19 restrictions resulted in a reduction in activity, increase sedentary time in smokers with and without COPD, which was ~10% greater in CON compared to COPD. Both COPD and CON reported feeling more fatigued and dyspneic while doing routine tasks during the pandemic. In addition, both groups reported a general increase in chance of dozing, less social interaction and an increased feeling of anxiety and depression due to the restrictions and change in life that occurred following the beginning of the pandemic.

Available for download on Friday, May 17, 2024