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Mishra R, Park C, York MK, Kunik ME, Wung SF, Naik AD, Najafi B. Decrease in Mobility during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Association with Increase in Depression among Older Adults: A Longitudinal Remote Mobility Monitoring Using a Wearable Sensor. Sensors (Basel, Switzerland). 2021 Apr 29; 21(9).
BACKGROUND: Social isolation during COVID-19 may negatively impact older adults'' wellbeing. To assess its impact, we measured changes in physical activity and sleep among community-dwelling older adults, from pre-to post-pandemic declaration. METHOD: Physical activity and sleep in older adults (n = 10, age = 77.3 ± 1.9 years, female = 40%) were remotely assessed within 3-month pre-to 6-month post-pandemic declaration using a pendant-wearable system. Depression was assessed pre-and post-pandemic declaration using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale and was compared with 48 h continuous physical activity monitoring data before and during pandemic. RESULTS: Compared to pre-pandemic, post-pandemic time spent in standing declined by 32.7% (Cohen''s d = 0.78, < 0.01), walking by 52.2% (d = 1.1, < 0.01), step-counts by 55.1% (d = 1.0, = 0.016), and postural transitions by 44.6% (d = 0.82, = 0.017) with increase in sitting duration by 20.5% (d = 0.5, = 0.049). Depression symptoms increased by 150% (d = 0.8, = 0.046). Interestingly, increase in depression was significantly correlated with unbroken-prolong sitting bout (? = 0.677, = 0.032), cadence (? = -0.70, = 0.024), and sleep duration (? = -0.72, = 0.019). CONCLUSION: This is one of the early longitudinal studies highlighting adverse effect of the pandemic on objectively assessed physical activity and sleep in older adults. Our observations showed need for timely intervention to mitigate hard to reverse consequences of decreased physical activity such as depression.