The Sports Institute

We work to expand participation and safety in sports.

COVID-19 and Physical Activity


Physical inactivity is a health crisis worsened by COVID-19. Before the first case of COVID-19 was announced in the United States, 80 percent of adults in the U.S. did not meet national Physical Activity Guidelines for exercise and 66 percent of children in the U.S. were physically inactive every day. Stay-at-Home and physical distancing orders can disrupt exercise routines, increase sedentary time and encourage unhealthy eating habits.

A recent study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found regular physical activity may help protect against severe COVID-19, and it can make a big difference in building resilience in the wake of the virus.

Preview of our infographic Inactivity Hurts


We examined the positive effects of physical activity on mental and physical health through a comprehensive review of the latest research and examined how COVID-19 has changed physical activity routines and habits for adults and youth.

With this foundational knowledge, we are deepening our understanding of the importance of physical activity during the pandemic and leveraging our resources to create meaningful solutions to help people get moving.

Where We Are

• We are working with Active Schools and King County Play Equity Coalition to prioritize physical activity and physical education as schools reopen in the Fall, whether virtually or in-person.

• We are organizing stakeholders in the medical community to recognize and advocate for exercise as a cornerstone for future healthcare policy.

• We’ve updated our Exercise Anywhere database to include free exercise apps and videos offered from popular brands during the pandemic.

• We’ve created a fact sheet and infographic and are creating articles in our Learning Center to show the importance of physical activity, both generally and during COVID-19

• We hosted the webinar Boost Your Immunity with Physical Activity featuring institute faculty Drs. Cindy Lin and Sara Chrisman. Watch it below to learn the importance of physical activity for youth and adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.