Physical Activity Levels among American Long-Term Care Employees during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Journal of Long-Term Care






Context: Physical activity has been shown to have physiological and psychological benefits in adults worldwide. Those in the healthcare industry, including long-term care employees, face unique occupational stressors that could be barriers to initiating and maintaining a physically active lifestyle.

Objectives: 1) to describe the physical activity level of a group of long-term care employees; and 2) examined demographic and self-efficacy influences on physical activity level.

Methods: The cross-sectional study included an online questionnaire with demographics, the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire (GLTEQ), and the Self-Efficacy for Exercise Scale, in a convenience sample of 218 participants.

Findings: Results found 71.5% of the sample were classified as active, the percentage of participants who indicated they were highly active in their youth compared to adulthood decreased from 40.3% to 16.0%, and 37.3% of the sample decreased their physical activity level during COVID-19. Additionally, the GLTEQ score was significantly higher for those with high exercise self-efficacy (M = 65.97, SD = 30.78) compared to those with moderate exercise self-efficacy (M = 37.14, SD = 27.07, p = .000) and low exercise self-efficacy (M = 16.00, SD = 15.11, p = .000).

Implications: Although the majority of the long-term care employees were considered active even during the COVID-19 pandemic, strategies to promote physical activity in the occupation setting are needed. Additional research is warranted to better understand if the nature of healthcare and occupational physical activity may have impacted this value.