Barriers and enablers to physical activity during COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland

Oral Presentation B1.3


  • Emer M. Barrett Trinity College Dublin
  • Cuisle Forde Trinity College Dublin
  • Jason Wyse Trinity College Dublin



Physical Activity, COVID-19, Barriers, Enablers, Adults


Background: Restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 have limited many opportunities for physical activity. Purpose: This study investigated physical activity and its associated barriers and enablers during the first two phases of COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland. Methods: An online survey collated data from Irish adults at two timepoints, the first during COVID-19 restrictions in May 2020 (Wave 1) and the second during restrictions in November 2020 (Wave 2). Logistic regression (Bayesian lasso) determined the main barriers for being less active than usual and enablers for being more active than usual during restrictions. Results: A total of 2064 adults participated (Wave 1:1260, Wave 2:804, 26% male). During Wave 1 restrictions, 46% of participants reported that they were more active than usual and 54% met the national physical activity guidelines. During Wave 2, 26% reported they were more active than usual (p<0.001) and the percentage meeting the guidelines decreased to 42% (p=0.01). Being advised to remain indoors, being unable to meet friends and their usual means of exercise being unavailable were predictive of being less active than usual. Having more time, a positive view on the importance of exercise and finding new ways to be active were predictive of being more active than usual. Conclusions: Physical activity of Irish adults decreased during consecutive periods of COVID-19 restrictions. Home based activities and supporting access to physical activity with social support from others appear important. Funding: Nil.



How to Cite

Barrett, E. M., Forde, C., & Wyse, J. (2021). Barriers and enablers to physical activity during COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland: Oral Presentation B1.3. The Health & Fitness Journal of Canada, 14(3).