A1 Journal article (refereed)
Closed due to COVID-19 : effects of indoor sports restrictions on suburban adults’ physical activity behaviours (2023)

Virmasalo, I., Hasanen, E., Pyykönen, J., Nurmi, M., Simula, M., Salmikangas, A.-K., & Muukkonen, P. (2023). Closed due to COVID-19 : effects of indoor sports restrictions on suburban adults’ physical activity behaviours. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 15(2), 249-269. https://doi.org/10.1080/19406940.2023.2178479

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsVirmasalo, Ilkka; Hasanen, Elina; Pyykönen, Janne; Nurmi, Marisofia; Simula, Mikko; Salmikangas, Anna-Katriina; Muukkonen, Petteri

Journal or seriesInternational Journal of Sport Policy and Politics



Publication year2023

Publication date16/02/2023


Issue number2

Pages range249-269


Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/85673


During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been required adaptations in leisure-time physical activity (PA) especially due to restrictive policies concerning indoor sport facilities (ISF). This study investigated the effects of the constraints on ISF among residents of two low socioeconomic status suburbs in Finland. Research questions were: (1) Are sociodemographic characteristics associated with a reduced use of ISF during the pandemic? (2) Are sociodemographic characteristics associated with changes in the overall PA amount among those respondents with a reduced use of ISF? (3) Is the reduced use of ISF associated with an increased use of other PA environments (home environment, built outdoor facilities, unbuilt nature, and streets)? Three rounds of survey data (December 2020, February 2021, and June 2021) were collected (total n = 738) and analysed using descriptive statistics and binary and multinomial logistic regressions. A risk of reduced use of ISF was associated with the female gender, higher education, and higher reported PA level. Among those who had reduced their use of ISF, a decrease in overall PA was associated with the female gender and a non-native language. In general, PA declined, but indoor PA was often replaced through other environments. The constraints on ISF seem to not have intensified the socioeconomic polarisation of PA. Versatile PA environments available in the suburbs may have mitigated the negative effects. Public sport administration should continue to pay attention to the provision of diverse PA environments.

KeywordsCOVID-19physical activityphysical trainingsports grounds and physical exercise facilitiesindoor sportssociodemographic characteristicsneighbourhood units

Free keywordsphysical activity; physical activity environment; indoor sport facility; sociodemographic; suburb; COVID-19

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Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-15-05 at 13:01