Physical distancing ≠ physical inactivity

Stefanie M. Meyer*, Matthew J. Landry, Jeanette Gustat, Stephenie C. Lemon, Collin A. Webster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


During this time of global health crisis, physical distancing, along with mask wearing, has emerged as the sine qua non social practice to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. But as physical distancing ensues and all eyes remain fixed on the novel coronavirus, another, albeit careworn, pandemic rages on. Physical inactivity, the world's fourth leading cause of death, may indeed be exacerbated by physical distancing measures, such as sheltering at home and closing or limiting access to recreation and exercise facilities. The purpose of this paper is to urge public health and medical professionals not to forget the importance of physical activity to whole-person health, recognize the importance of physical activity as a potential COVID-19 mitigation strategy and to serve as advocates for promoting active lifestyles. It is imperative that the national call for physical distancing not be interpreted as a call for physical inactivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-944
Number of pages4
JournalTranslational Behavioral Medicine
Issue number4
Early online date7 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Society of Behavioral Medicine. All rights reserved.


  • Chronic disease
  • Clinician
  • COVID-19
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary behavior
  • Social distancing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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