FRIDAY, Sept. 2, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Worldwide daily step counts have not returned to prepandemic levels, according to an article published online Aug. 31 in The Lancet Global Health.

Geoffrey H. Tison, M.D. M.P.H., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues used deidentified individual-level data from Jan. 1, 2019, to Feb. 17, 2022, collected from the freely available Azumio Argus smartphone app to assess whether worldwide physical activity remains lower than before COVID-19 (Jan. 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2019).

Based on 140 million daily step count measurements from 1.2 million unique users (>200 countries and territories), the researchers found that the mean step count in the last 90 days of the study period (November 2021 to February 2022) was significantly lower for all continents versus the same 2019 to 2020 prepandemic period. Compared with prepandemic, the same 2020 to 2021 midpandemic period was also significantly lower for all continents. The greatest global recovery of step counts occurred from May to November 2021, although step counts remained 10 percent lower than the global prepandemic baseline, with regional variation.

“Step counts in Europe and North America appear to have recovered the most, but as of early 2022, they remain significantly lower than their prepandemic baseline,” the authors write.

Two study authors are employees of Azumio.

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