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Social Distancing as a Health Behavior: County-Level Movement in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Associated with Conventional Health Behaviors.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Bourassa, KJ; Sbarra, DA; Caspi, A; Moffitt, TE
Published in: Annals of Behavioral Medicine : a Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine
August 2020

Social distancing-when people limit close contact with others outside their household-is a primary intervention available to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The importance of social distancing is unlikely to change until effective treatments or vaccines become widely available. However, relatively little is known about how best to promote social distancing. Applying knowledge from social and behavioral research on conventional health behaviors (e.g., smoking, physical activity) to support public health efforts and research on social distancing is promising, but empirical evidence supporting this approach is needed.We examined whether one type of social distancing behavior-reduced movement outside the home-was associated with conventional health behaviors.We examined the association between GPS-derived movement behavior in 2,858 counties in USA from March 1 to April 7, 2020 and the prevalence of county-level indicators influenced by residents' conventional health behaviors.Changes in movement were associated with conventional health behaviors, and the magnitude of these associations were similar to the associations among the conventional health behaviors. Counties with healthier behaviors-particularly less obesity and greater physical activity-evidenced greater reduction in movement outside the home during the initial phases of the pandemic in the USA.Social distancing, in the form of reduced movement outside the home, is associated with conventional health behaviors. Existing scientific literature on health behavior and health behavior change can be more confidently used to promote social distancing behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Published In

Annals of Behavioral Medicine : a Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine

DOI

EISSN

1532-4796

ISSN

0883-6612

Publication Date

August 2020

Volume

54

Issue

8

Start / End Page

548 / 556

Related Subject Headings

  • United States
  • Social Isolation
  • Public Health
  • Pneumonia, Viral
  • Pandemics
  • Infection Control
  • Humans
  • Health Behavior
  • Coronavirus Infections
  • COVID-19
 

Citation

APA
Chicago
ICMJE
MLA
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Bourassa, K. J., Sbarra, D. A., Caspi, A., & Moffitt, T. E. (2020). Social Distancing as a Health Behavior: County-Level Movement in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Associated with Conventional Health Behaviors. Annals of Behavioral Medicine : A Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 54(8), 548–556. https://doi.org/10.1093/abm/kaaa049
Bourassa, Kyle J., David A. Sbarra, Avshalom Caspi, and Terrie E. Moffitt. “Social Distancing as a Health Behavior: County-Level Movement in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Associated with Conventional Health Behaviors.Annals of Behavioral Medicine : A Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine 54, no. 8 (August 2020): 548–56. https://doi.org/10.1093/abm/kaaa049.
Bourassa KJ, Sbarra DA, Caspi A, Moffitt TE. Social Distancing as a Health Behavior: County-Level Movement in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Associated with Conventional Health Behaviors. Annals of Behavioral Medicine : a Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. 2020 Aug;54(8):548–56.
Bourassa, Kyle J., et al. “Social Distancing as a Health Behavior: County-Level Movement in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Associated with Conventional Health Behaviors.Annals of Behavioral Medicine : A Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 54, no. 8, Aug. 2020, pp. 548–56. Epmc, doi:10.1093/abm/kaaa049.
Bourassa KJ, Sbarra DA, Caspi A, Moffitt TE. Social Distancing as a Health Behavior: County-Level Movement in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Associated with Conventional Health Behaviors. Annals of Behavioral Medicine : a Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. 2020 Aug;54(8):548–556.
Journal cover image

Published In

Annals of Behavioral Medicine : a Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine

DOI

EISSN

1532-4796

ISSN

0883-6612

Publication Date

August 2020

Volume

54

Issue

8

Start / End Page

548 / 556

Related Subject Headings

  • United States
  • Social Isolation
  • Public Health
  • Pneumonia, Viral
  • Pandemics
  • Infection Control
  • Humans
  • Health Behavior
  • Coronavirus Infections
  • COVID-19