University of Leicester
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Device-assessed sleep and physical activity in individuals recovering from a hospital admission for COVID-19: a multicentre study

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-08-31, 09:53 authored by Tatiana Plekhanova, Alex Rowlands, Rachael A Evans, Charlotte L Edwardson, Nicolette C Bishop, Charlotte E Bolton, James D Chalmers, Melanie J Davies, Enya Daynes, Paddy C Dempsey, Annemarie B Docherty, Omer Elneima, Neil J Greening, Sharlene A Greenwood, Andrew P Hall, Victoria C Harris, Ewen M Harrison, Joseph Henson, Ling-Pei Ho, Alex Horsley, Linzy Houchen-Wolloff, Kamlesh Khunti, Olivia C Leavy, Nazir Lone, Michael Marks, Ben Maylor, Hamish JC McAuley, Claire M Nolan, Krisnah Poinasamy, Jennifer K Quint, Betty Raman, Matthew Richardson, Jack A Sargeant, Ruth M Saunders, Marco Sereno, Aarti Shikotra, Amisha Singapuri, Michael Steiner, David J Stensel, Louise Wain, Julie Whitney, Dan G Wootton, Christopher E Brightling, William D-C Man, Sally J Singh, Tom Yates


The number of individuals recovering from severe COVID-19 is increasing rapidly. However, little is known about physical behaviours that make up the 24-h cycle within these individuals. This study aimed to describe physical behaviours following hospital admission for COVID-19 at eight months post-discharge including associations with acute illness severity and ongoing symptoms.


One thousand seventy-seven patients with COVID-19 discharged from hospital between March and November 2020 were recruited. Using a 14-day wear protocol, wrist-worn accelerometers were sent to participants after a five-month follow-up assessment. Acute illness severity was assessed by the WHO clinical progression scale, and the severity of ongoing symptoms was assessed using four previously reported data-driven clinical recovery clusters. Two existing control populations of office workers and individuals with type 2 diabetes were comparators.


Valid accelerometer data from 253 women and 462 men were included. Women engaged in a mean ± SD of 14.9 ± 14.7 min/day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), with 12.1 ± 1.7 h/day spent inactive and 7.2 ± 1.1 h/day asleep. The values for men were 21.0 ± 22.3 and 12.6 ± 1.7 h /day and 6.9 ± 1.1 h/day, respectively. Over 60% of women and men did not have any days containing a 30-min bout of MVPA. Variability in sleep timing was approximately 2 h in men and women. More severe acute illness was associated with lower total activity and MVPA in recovery. The very severe recovery cluster was associated with fewer days/week containing continuous bouts of MVPA, longer total sleep time, and higher variability in sleep timing. Patients post-hospitalisation with COVID-19 had lower levels of physical activity, greater sleep variability, and lower sleep efficiency than a similarly aged cohort of office workers or those with type 2 diabetes.


Those recovering from a hospital admission for COVID-19 have low levels of physical activity and disrupted patterns of sleep several months after discharge. Our comparative cohorts indicate that the long-term impact of COVID-19 on physical behaviours is significant.


UK Research and Innovation and National Institute of Health Research (grant references: MR/V027859/1 and COV0319)


Author affiliation

Diabetes Research Centre, University of Leicester


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International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity











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