COVID-19 pandemic has caused a severely detrimental effect on the physical, psychological, and functional well-being of the older adults by limiting their social and out-of-home activities, which in turn is likely to affect their habitual physical activity level. Physical activity (PA) is vital for healthy aging and the health-related benefits of PA for older adults are well-established. In the current context of COVID-19 pandemic, the changes in PA level, resulting from physical distancing adherence and social isolation, can be a major health concern for the older adults, as they are more prone to physical inactivity than the younger population. Accurate PA assessment at population levels is necessary to understand the trend in PA and sedentary behavior among the older adults during the pandemic. Self-reported assessments can be inexpensive and easy to administer, but they are often subjected to measurement biases such as misinterpretations or deliberate alterations (social desirability bias) and participants having difficulty in remembering activities (recall bias). Accelerometer-based PA monitoring can overcome these limitations of self-reported assessment and objectively measure the amount and intensity of PA in a free-living environment. The objective of this study is to examine the PA levels in the older adults, who were living under the physical distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, using an accelerometry-based assessment. The study also investigates how such objectively measured PA levels varied among the older adults based on different sociodemographic factors. In this cross-sectional study, 124 community-dwelling older adults (Age: 60–96 years) were recruited from the region of Central Florida between March 2021 and August 2021. The findings of this study can infer guidelines and/or interventions to promote physical activity and healthy aging among the older adults, particularly those who are susceptible to social isolation and disconnectedness due to COVID-19 pandemic.


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Graduation Date





Park, Joon-Hyuk


Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering; Guidance Control and Dynamics




CFE0009435; DP0027158





Release Date


Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until 11-15-2027; it will then be open access.