Smoking, drinking, and physical activity among Korean adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a special report of the 2020 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Sunhye Choi, Jinwook Bahk, Suyeon Park, Kyungwon Oh, Kyunghee Jung-Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to describe trends in health behaviours between 2011 and 2020 and compare the changes in these behaviours between the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and previous periods according to socio-demographic variables. METHODS: This study used data from the 2011 to 2020 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Current cigarette smoking, high-risk drinking, and inadequate physical activity levels were used as health behaviour indicators. The age-standardized prevalence, differences in prevalence between the periods, and the annual percentage change (APC) were calculated. RESULTS: Current cigarette smoking showed a decreasing trend (APC, -2.6), high-risk drinking remained unchanged, and inadequate physical activity levels increased (APC, 3.5) during 2011-2020. There were significant differences in high-risk drinking (3.1%p; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.3 to 5.9) and inadequate physical activity levels (4.3%p; 95% CI, 0.4 to 8.1) between 2019 and 2020 in men. Among men, increased high-risk drinking was found in those aged 40-49 years, non-single households, urban residents, and the middle and highest income groups between 2019 and 2020. The low educational group and manual workers among men aged 30-59 years also showed an increased proportion of high-risk drinking. Inadequate physical activity levels also increased among men between 2019 and 2020 in those aged 30-39 years, non-single households, urban residents, and the upper-middle-income group. CONCLUSIONS: In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Korean men's high-risk drinking and inadequate physical activity levels increased. In addition to social efforts to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, active measures to positively change health behaviour are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e2022043
JournalEpidemiology and health
Volume44
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Drinking
  • Exercise
  • Smoking

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