Study conducted by CHRC researchers about the Impact of COVID-19 in elderly lifestyle, published in MDPI

Study conducted by CHRC researchers about the Impact of COVID-19 in elderly lifestyle, published in MDPI

Professors Armando Raimundo, José Marmeleira and the PhD student Nilton Chantre Leite of University of Évora and researchers at CHRC, had their scientific paper – Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Daily Life, Physical Exercise, and General Health among Older People with Type 2 Diabetes: A Qualitative Interview study – in the MDPI Special Issue “The Benefits of Physical Activity and Exercise in Motor and Cognitive Functions in Older Adults”.

As it’s known, the COVID-19 pandemic had a great impact in the life of millions, especially for those who have chronic diseases, making them vulnerable to the infection. The study was conducted with the main goal to study the first 9 months of the pandemic experience in the life of older people how suffers from Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM), focused in the habits and physical exercise done at the time. 

“It is important to gain a better understanding of the feelings of older people with T2DM and the ways in which they have dealt with concerns related to the management of the disease, physical exercise behaviour, health and well-being, which, in other study designs, may have remained unexplored.”

The researchers explained in the paper how the study was conducted.

“We conducted a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. The data consist of telephone interviews of seventeen older people with T2DM (10 women and 7 men, aged 62–76 years). Using thematic analysis, five themes were generated: (1) an altered social and relational life; (2) changes in routine and attitude regarding physical activity behaviour; (3) home-related activities gained relevance; (4) health and well-being impact and management; and (5) thoughts about the post-pandemic period.”

They found out that many older people limited themselves with social contact and exercise because of the fear of getting infected with COVID-19, making common the sense of anxiety, isolation, loneliness, etc. It brought a negative impact in their well-being and it’s known this is a path to have also an impact in their health.

“It is well known that the adoption of a healthy lifestyle (i.e., physical exercise) helps to prevent complications, improve insulin action, and benefits glycaemic control in this population. Researchers have conducted studies that have raised concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on different aspects of the lifestyle and health of people with T2DM. Perceiving themselves as being a high risk group, they were found to be more worried about contracting the virus and, due to this, show evidence of negative effects of COVID-19 on psychosocial health (i.e., distress, loneliness, feeling isolated)"

This study was conducted by the researchers at CHRC - Professors Armando Raimundo, Nilton Chantre Leite, José Marmeleira - with the collaboration of Dr. Romeu Mendes of the Northern Regional Health Administration, I.P.

You can access to the full paper here:



Andreia Santos


Armando Raimundo

José Marmeleira