As a result of one of the strictest and longest lockdowns in the world, Filipinos took the fewest steps and had the highest increase in sleeping time during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is according to the March to August data of fitness gear maker Fitbit, which compared population level data from 2019 to 2020 by metrics including step count, active minutes, sleep patterns and activity types to see what differences the pandemic have driven in the Fitbit community.
In the study, it found that the Philippines took the fewest steps in Asia Pacific in 2020, replacing India as the market at the bottom of the step table.
The Philippines was also the “most improved” market when it came to sleep. Filipinos increased their sleeping time by 30 minutes during the lockdown and 25 minutes post-lockdown as compared to 2019 sleep averages..
Some key findings that the Fitbit data revealed across Asia Pacific:
- Mediation, yoga, and pilates saw huge increases in 2020 across Asia Pacific, mirroring the global trend with meditation in particular seeing massive gains in popularity among Fitbit users across the region
- Activity (steps and active minutes) levels across the region increased as restrictions eased, but not more than pre-pandemic levels with the exception of Hong Kong, which saw a slight increase in Jun – Aug 2020 compared to the same period the year before.
- Hong Kong took the most steps in Asia Pacific during lockdown (Mar – May 2020) and as restrictions eased (Jun – Aug 2020), replacing Singapore as the country with the highest step count in the region.
- Australia and New Zealand continued to lead the region in active minutes achieved, even if they did not lead in overall step count, suggesting a greater level of intentional activity such as exercise.
- Most countries saw their lockdown gains in sleep duration reverse as they reopened, with the exception of Australia, which continued to enjoy an increase in sleep duration to 7 hrs 37 minutes, a whopping 39 minutes higher than the regional average.
- The regional average Resting Heart Rate (RHR) improved during lockdown and stayed the same even as countries reopened. When compared against 2019 RHR, every single country saw an improvement.
- On the whole, the data showed that while users have embraced a more sedentary lifestyle in 2020 with overall activity decreasing, many users have pivoted to more frequent stress-relieving activities.
To identify the differences the pandemic has driven in the Fitbit community around the globe, the Fitbit research team analyzed aggregated, anonymous population level data from Fitbit users ages 18 to 80 with a BMI of 15 to 60 across tens of million Fitbit users from March 1 to August 31, 2020 as compared to the same time period in 2019, including step counts, active minutes, and activity types.
The data set represented users from selected Asia Pacific markets including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Singapore.