Grethe Fochsen is an investigator at the Swedish Public Health Agency and follows international research on how the pandemic affects our lifestyles.

Among other things, she has looked at current figures on sedentary and daily exercise:

- There, I think that the research is quite consistent, that you see a fairly sharp decline in physical activity at the population level.

Especially among children and young people, where we see a decline in physical activity at all ages, she says.

Does Sweden differ in that?

- We probably think it is the same trend.

What we see internationally we also see in Sweden, says Grethe Fochsen.

Big change in young people

In another ongoing research project, Alexandra Weilenmann, professor of interaction design at the University of Gothenburg, and her staff have tried to find out how homework and restrictions have affected how much Swedes have moved during the pandemic.

Alexandra Weilenmann also sees a clear trend, which is in line with the Public Health Agency's results:

- If you look at the age groups, we see that the youngest group that we have in our material, which is 18–24 years, where the biggest change has taken place.

They walk less, it looks like they have changed a lot, she says.

Older women are affected

This is an ongoing study, but the researchers already have some preliminary results from the approximately 1,000 people who participate.

And it is not just children and young adults who stand out in the statistics.

Among other things, it seems that women have stopped moving to a greater degree than men.

The decrease is visible in all age groups, but is most evident in women over 65, at the same time as men of the same age seem to have increased their daily training dose significantly.

- There you would like to know what it depends on.

Is it the case that women are better at following the restrictions than men?

Or do they have other types of work or daily activities that make them more affected by the pandemic, Alexandra Weilenmann wonders.

Women exercise less

Researchers at the School of Gymnastics and Sports, GIH, in Stockholm have just compiled the results of a study in which they asked 5,600 Swedes from the working population about how their living habits have changed in relation to the pandemic.

The finished results will be presented in a scientific journal later this spring.

But Elin Ekblom Bak, one of the authors, believes that the results from their article will show further nuances.

- What we see in the study is that it is primarily white-collar workers, and partly people with higher education who have changed their habits, both for the better and for the worse.

They are the ones who can work from home, while those who, for example, have a cleaning job must continue to go to work as usual, she says.

As a result, sedentary living has increased more among white-collar workers than among workers, especially at the beginning of the pandemic.

On the other hand, salaried employees have been able to increase their training to a greater extent during the same period, compared with the workers.

- We also see a tendency for women to reduce the amount of exercise more than men during the pandemic.

It is also interesting that more changes were made during the pandemic's first wave this spring, compared with the second in November-December, says Elin Ekblom Bak.

See more about how the pandemic affects society in the World of Science - The Corona Fight's prize, Monday 1 March at 20.00 on SVT2 or on SVT Play from 28 February.