Objects: The Coronavirus pandemic has had a clear impact on the Jordanian society in several aspects, especially the health aspect. Therefore, this study is conducted to discover the effects of staying at home (quarantine) during the Coronavirus pandemic on the Jordanian society in terms of obesity, depression, and physical activities.
Methods: 1252 members from both genders of the Jordanian society completed the questionnaire, three questions were developed, and a questionnaire was created to answer these questions by youths and the elderlies between the ages of (15-65) years from both genders. The procedures included an evaluation of obesity, depression and physical activity during the period of quarantine.
Results: The highest mean according to the obesity, depression and physical activity among genders and age groups was (3.59, 1.69, 3.57) respectively and standard deviation for them (0.572, 0.267, 0.609) respectively.
Conclusion: It is found that there are no significant differences between both genders and ages group but there are a numerical differences in most questions.
Coronavirus, Quarantine, Weight, Stress and exercise
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a novel coronavirus, called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) started in the Wuhan city of China and spread to the whole world and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization [1,2].
The number of injuries in the world exceeded 75 million and more than 1.6 million deaths were announced worldwide . In Jordan, the number of injuries reached more than 285 thousands, till December 2020, and the deaths exceeded 3700 deaths . Because of that, several countries in the whole world such as United states, United Kingdom and many other countries have enacted numerous restrictions on human movement, physical interactions and introduced formal social curfew measures [2,5].
In Jordan, following the numerous restriction and curfew measures, the middle schools and universities in all regions of the Kingdom have been closed until the end of the academic year 2019-2020, however, the individuals can no longer engage in physical activities, and fitness, also activity classes for youth are canceled, also public parks and gyms, have all been closed. All government and private institutions have been closed as well, and social distancing measures are being followed to slow down the spread of COVID-19 . This sudden and stressful condition plus the prolonged stays at home may imply a radical change in lifestyle behavior such as physical activity, eating habits, mental health, quality of sleep, and there is a general concern about the negative health implications of inactivity and sedentary behavior [7,8].
Researchers found that 37.1% of the participants reported distress from nervousness and stress to a greater degree and they observed an increase of depression, difficulty sleeping and worsening chronic conditions in the population during curfew [9,10].
Therefore, this study is conducted to find out the effects of stay-at-home (curfew) as a result of COVID-19 pandemic on obesity, depression, stress and physical activity in people living in Jordan.
A retrospective cohort survey design assessed the effects of curfew as a result of COVID-19 pandemic on obesity, depression and physical activity in people living in Jordan by using online reported surveys (https://forms.gle/tQaLiDcYGGRaz65w8) that was completed between (14-28) November, 2020.
An appropriate sampling strategy, which focuses on including young individuals and elderlies in the Jordanian society, was used during the COVID-19 pandemic. A potential respondent have been invited electronically through various social media platforms and emails lists in some universities for students, faculty, and staff. Inclusion criterions were as follows: (15-65) years, able to read and speak Arabic and live in Jordan. A pilot of 10 subjects' data were tested to assess the content validity of the survey form, which is the extent to which the information required within the survey form are relevant and representative of the all sample's data about effects of curfew as a result of COVID-19 pandemic on obesity, depression and physical activity in people living in Jordan.
After providing consent, participants completed measures, including self-reported weight and height. Participants also reported whether they had ever been diagnosed with a psychiatric condition (e.g. depression and stress). The major question was developed to measure the effect of curfew during the Corona pandemic on the Jordanian society by studying the percentages of obesity, depression, and physical activity is: What is the impact of curfew during the Coronavirus pandemic on the Jordanian society in terms of physical activity, obesity and depression. Therefore, a questionnaire was conducted to answer this question by the two groups of youth and the elderly for both genders and the ages of ≥ 15-years-old, and they completed the questionnaire online between the 14th and the 28th of November, 2020, and the procedures included an assessment the quality of food and drinks consumed during the ban period, as well as the amount of physical activity practiced during day or week in a randomized order.
Participants were asked 'Compared to before the COVID-19 curfew in Jordan, I have ..' and using a five-point Likert scale (very few, few, medium, many, very many) responded to 13 items on behaviors related to weight management (e.g.'snacked', 'exercised'), followed by 6 items on the extent to which participants had experienced barriers/facilitators to physical activity (e.g.'Had time to exercise') compared to before curfew using unipolar Likert scale (yes, no) and four-point Likert scale (not practicing, light, medium, and large). Participants also completed 4 items on mental/physical health compared to before curfew (e.g. 'suffer from stress', 'Had sleep disturbances', 'Had hormonal strike') using a unipolar Likert scale (yes, no).
Descriptive statistics of participant' basic characteristics before COVID-19 curfew and activity patterns before and after COVID-19 curfew were provided as mean and standard deviation for continuous variables and percentages for categorical variables. We used t-tests and ANOVA (or χ2 tests for categorical variables) to evaluate the significance of differences in weight-related outcomes, depression and physical activity before and after COVID-19 curfew for each sex group. All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS .
1252 members from both genders of the Jordanian society completed the questionnaire, where the total number of male participants was 574, with a ratio of 45.8%, while the total number of females was 678, with a ratio of 54.2%, and these numbers varied according to the questions and the variables. In the variable of sex and in questions related to obesity, depression and physical activity the number of male participants was (560, 574 and 574) respectively, and the number of females participants was (650, 678 and 678) respectively. As for questions related to the age group variable; the highest percentage of participation in the sample was in the age group of (15-35), and it was 607, with a ratio of 61.3%. The number of participants in the (15-35) category on the obesity, depression and physical activity questions was (742, 767, 767) respectively, while the number of participants in the (35-65) category was (385, 398, 398) respectively.
Table 1 shows the effect of curfew as a result of covid-19 pandemic on obesity for both sexes and age groups. The highest percentage of males and in both age group category (15-35 and 35-65) was in the sixth question, with a mean of (4.02, 4.02, 3.94) and a standard deviation of (1.032, 0.996, 1.069) respectively, while the highest percentage of females was in the seventh question, with a mean of 3.097 and a standard deviation 1.013.
Table 1: The effect of curfew as a result of Covid-19 pandemic on obesity for both sexes and age groups. View Table 1
The signature (2-tailed) in the questions is more than 0.05 (sample level), meaning there is no significant difference between the two genders and between the age groups at the sample level, while there was a difference on the numerical level.
In order to know the effect of quarantine on weight gain, a preliminary question 14 was asked (Table 1): Did the weight decrease or increase during the curfew and what was the amount of the increase or decrease, and the answer to it was yes or no with mentioning the amount of increase or decrease. The number of males participating was 574 by 45.8%, while the number of Females were 678, by 54.2%, thus, the mean of males and females was (1.30, 1.32) respectively and the standard deviation was (0.459, 0.466) respectively. The number of participants from the category (15-35) was 767 by 61.3%, while the number of participants from the category (35-65) was 484, by 38.7%, and the mean of the two age group categories (15-35) and (35-65) was (1.31, 1.32) respectively, and the standard deviation for them was (0.465, 0.469) respectively. The sample level for both sexes and between age groups was greater than 0.05, indicating that there were no significant differences between the sexes in the gained weight and between the two age categories.
Table 2 shows the effect of curfew as a result of covid-19 pandemic on depression for both sexes and ages groups. The highest percentage for (males, female) and for the two age category (15-35, 35-65) was in the first question, with a mean for both gender (1.92, 1.91) and for age group (1.92, 1.85), respectively, and a standard deviation of both gender (0.269, 0.291) and for both age group (0.275, 0.360) respectively.
Table 2: The effect of curfew as a result of Covid-19 pandemic on depression for both sexes and age groups. View Table 2
Table 3 shows the effect of curfew as a result of Covid-19 pandemic on physical activity of both sexes and age groups. The highest percentage among males and age group (15-35) was in the fourth question, with mean and standard deviation of (2.95, 2.94), (0.854, 0.808) respectively, while the highest percentage for females and age group (35-65) was in the fifth question, with mean and standard deviation of (2.98, 3.06) and (0.834, 0.863) respectively.
Table 3: The effect of curfew as a result of Covid-19 pandemic on physical activity of both sexes and age groups. View Table 3
Table 4 shows the effect of curfew as a result of covid-19 pandemic on obesity, depression and physical activity according to the gender and age group. The highest mean according to the obesity, depression and physical activity among genders and age groups was (3.59, 1.69, 3.57) respectively and standard deviation for them (0.572, 0.267, 0.609) respectively. The signature (2-tail) in the overall averages for them with regard to obesity, depression and physical activity during quarantine is more than 0.05 (sample level), meaning there is no significant difference between the two genders and age group at the sample level, while there was a difference at the numerical level.
Table 4: The effect of curfew as a result of Covid-19 pandemic on Obesity, depression and physical activity according to the gender and age groups. View Table 4
This study examine the effects of stay at home (curfew) during the Coronavirus pandemic on the Jordanian society of both genders, and for the youth and the elderly. Through its impact on obesity, depression and physical activity, as staying at home for both genders at the same time reduced daily activity because of the closure policy that occurred, which made society spend its time eating healthy and unhealthy foods, making pastries and consuming bread and sugars that contain high calories, thinking that it relieves the feelings of anxiety and tension that lead to depression, and because there is not enough space to practice Physical activities, the burning process was light and therefore there was an increase in body mass for many individuals. In line with other studies [12,13], social curfew events are have wide ranging effects which make weight gain protective behaviors more difficult for many and there have been a number of suggestions that social restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 could result in population level weight gain.
We found that in the both gender there is a difference on the numerical level in eating behavior, which indicates the extent of the effect of eating behavior during the curfew on the obesity rate and there are people especially young people who are supposed to be in good health and more conscious and lively, who suffer from mental and hormonal disorders and diabetes, and that such a ban may increase psychological pressure on this group, making them more vulnerable to complications and depression. Although, other studies in UK [14,15] that examine the mental health burden of curfew during Corona pandemic, they revealed that the participant in these studies report feeling depressed, more lonely and anxious. This obesity, which affects the health of individuals and makes them more vulnerable to diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart diseases, thus human body is weak and vulnerable to the infection with the Coronavirus, or it makes their immunity and disease resistance weaker and thus affects their lives negatively. Although another studies [5,16] found that the COVID-19 crisis may have had a disproportionately large and negative influence on weight-related behaviors among adults and a risk factors for weight gain during self-quarantine are inadequate sleep, snacking after dinner, lack of dietary restraint, eating in response to stress, and reduced physical activity. Results of this paper have shown that there is no significant difference between the sexes in the percentage of obesity, which increased by 1.31 and that the age group between (35-65), is the most affected between age groups. Consequently, a programmed and politicalized strategic plan must be made to confront those factors that affect the health of the individual during this pandemic in the long term, especially not all people vaccinated and that the rates of the infection with the Coronavirus are increasing, thus increasing anxiety and tension in the Jordanian society.
In general, the results of this study in the Jordanian society indicate that there is no significant difference in the percentage of the overall averages for both (gender and ages group) with regard to obesity, depression and physical activity during quarantine, while there were a difference at the numerical level. The physical activity and the quality of the foods consumed while staying at home must be taken into account to avoid obesity and the accompanying diseases.
All authors participated in the design of the study, performed data analyzing. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
No conflict of interest regarding this article, and not funded.