The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been spreading rapidly worldwide since late January 2020. The strict lockdown strategy prompted by the Italian government, to hamper severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) spreading, has reduced the possibility of performing either outdoor or gym physical activity (PA). This study investigated and quantified the reduction of PA in patients with automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) for primary prevention of sudden death.
Daily PA of 24 patients was estimated by processing recorded data from ICD-embedded accelerometric sensors used by the rate-responsive pacing systems.
During the forced 40-d in-home confinement, a mean 25% reduction of PA was observed as compared with the 40-d confinement-free period (1.2 ± 0.3 vs 1.6 ± 0.5 hr/d, respectively, P = .0001).
This objective quantification of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on PA determined by an ICD device showed an abrupt and statistically significant reduction of PA in primary prevention ICD patients, during the in-home confinement quarantine. To counteract the deleterious effects of physical inactivity during the COVID-19 outbreak, patients should be encouraged to perform indoor exercise-based personalized rehabilitative programs.