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‘I Live a Kind of Shadow Life’: Individual Experiences of COVID-19 Recovery and the Impact on Physical Activity Levels
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume: 18, Issue: 21, Start page: 11417
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Understanding of strategies to support individuals recovering from Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) is limited. ‘Long-COVID’ is a multisystem disease characterised by a range of res-piratory, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal symptoms extending beyond 12 weeks. The...
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Understanding of strategies to support individuals recovering from Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) is limited. ‘Long-COVID’ is a multisystem disease characterised by a range of res-piratory, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal symptoms extending beyond 12 weeks. The aim of this study was to explore individuals’ experiences of recovering from COVID-19 to provide a better understanding of the acute and long-term impact of the disease on physical activity (PA). Individualised semi-structured interviews were conducted with 48 adults recovering from COVID-19 at 6-11 months post-infection. An inductive thematic analysis approach was used, reaching saturation at 14 interviews (10 female; 47±7 years). Four overarching themes were identified: i) Living with COVID-19, including managing activities of daily living; ii) Dealing with the Unknown and self-management strategies; iii) Re-introducing physical activity; and iv) Challenges of returning to work. The return to PA, whether through activities of daily living, work or exercise, is often associated with exacerbation of symptoms, presenting a range of challenges for individuals recovering from COVID-19. Individually tailored support is therefore required to address the unique challenges posed by COVID-19.
Exercise; SARS-CoV-2; Long-COVID; rehabilitation
College of Engineering
Welsh Government Sêr Cymru III Tackling COVID-19
grant scheme (Reference MA/KW/1457/20); and The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
Research Wales Innovation Fund (Collaboration Booster Faculty Fund), grant number FF4. J.S. was
part-funded by The Welsh Institute of Physical Activity, Health and Sport (WIPAHS)