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  1. Mask wearing and physical distancing are effective at preventing COVID-19 transmission. Little is known about the practice of these behaviors during physical activity (PA). In this longitudinal study, direct observation was used to describe COVID-19 prevention behaviors among physically active individuals. The Viral Transmission Scan (VT-Scan) was used to assess COVID-19 prevention behaviors of people standing, sitting, walking, jogging, and cycling in educational, retail, and residential areas. The VT-Scan was performed once per week over 22 weeks between 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Information was manually extracted from videos collected during VT-Scans. A total of 4153 people were described, ofmore »which 71.2% were physically active, 80.0% were 18–30 years of age, 14.0% were non-white, 61.0% were female, and were 19.6% obese. Individuals not engaged in PA were less compliant with COVID-19 prevention behaviors than physically active people. Compliance differed by PA type, with walkers less compliant with COVID-19 prevention behaviors than joggers and cyclists. Among those physically active, non-compliance with COVID-19 prevention behaviors was higher in 18–30-year-olds, whites, and men. Engagement in COVID-19 prevention behaviors varies as a function of PA. Efforts to promote compliance with recommendations may benefit from tailored messaging, taking into account PA participation, PA type, and characteristics of physically active individuals.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  2. The COVID-19 pandemic severely affected many aspects of human life. While most health agencies agree mask wearing and physical distancing reduce viral transmission, efforts to improve the assessment of these behaviors are lacking. This study aimed to develop a direct observation video method [Viral Transmission (VT)-Scan] for assessing COVID-19 transmission behaviors and related factors (e.g., environmental setting). A wearable video device (WVD) was used to obtain videos of outdoor, public areas. The videos were examined to extract relevant information. All outcomes displayed good to excellent intra- and inter-reliability with intra-class correlation coefficients ranging from 0.836 to 0.997. The majority ofmore »people had a mask (60.8%) but 22.1% of them wore it improperly, 45.4% were not physical distancing, and 27.6% were simultaneously mask and physical distancing non-compliant. Transmission behaviors varied by demographics with white, obese males least likely to be mask-compliant and white, obese females least likely to physical distance. Certain environments (e.g., crosswalks) were identified as “hot spots” where higher rates of adverse transmission behaviors occurred. This study introduces a reliable method for obtaining objective data on COVID-19 transmission behaviors and related factors which may be useful for agent-based modeling and policy formation.« less