Fasting Affects Daily Physical Activity Behavior

A Research Study by Aspetar Shows the Impact of Lifestyle Changes on the Daily Physical Activity of Fasting Individuals

  • Publish date: Thursday، 22 December 2022 Last update: Thursday، 23 March 2023
Fasting Affects Daily Physical Activity Behavior

A research study conducted by the experts of Aspetar Sports Medicine Hospital showed that changes in lifestyle among fasting individuals affect daily physical activity behavior among fasting adults during Ramadan.

In a new research paper published on a comparative study between adults enrolled in the National Program for Physical Activity in Qatar, the scientific research team of Aspetar concluded that daily intermittent fasting in Ramadan affects the usual physical activity that is objectively evaluated among adults, due to lifestyle changes. After registered fasting and non-fasting adults were invited to participate in this research, a total of 209 participants gave consent to complete a survey that provided access to accurate data on physical activity.

The research team studied and analyzed the results of a 3-month period of counting the number of daily steps before, during and after the month of Ramadan over the past seven years (2013-2019), where the results indicated that during the holy month of Ramadan, the average daily steps decreased significantly by about 400 steps among the fasting participants, it increased by about 500 steps for the non-fasting participants, while the number of steps for fasting individuals returned to its normal levels immediately after the month of Ramadan. Ramadan, then the number of steps began to decrease gradually in both groups in the last week of Ramadan and during the Eid holiday.

During the study, the usual daily physical activity was monitored through a pedometer connected to a data collection website that was provided by Aspetar to the participants. The results showed that the preferred time for physical activity during Ramadan for the fasting participants is before breakfast (33.8 percent) or after breakfast (39.7 percent), while non-fasting participants preferred early morning (34.5 percent).

Regarding this study, Mr. Abdulaziz Farouk, a researcher at Aspetar and the supervisor of the study, confirmed the significant effect of the fasting state on physical activity during the month of Ramadan, probably due to the inability of people to adapt to the schedule for the month of Ramadan, as it was not more than half of the fasting individuals are aware that their physical activity has decreased during Ramadan, which calls for more work to create awareness of the importance of maintaining adequate physical activity for fasting adults during Ramadan.

Aspetar prioritizes high-level scientific research since expanding scientific knowledge enhances medical practice for the presenting athletes/patients. According to Emiri Decree No. 1 of 2008, Aspetar is required to conduct research (and education) programs in sports medicine, orthopedic surgery, and sports sciences.

This obligation includes improving the health and well-being of people who participate in sports (both athletes and the general public). High-quality research contributes to Aspetar's goal of being a "global leader in sports medicine and exercise science by 2020." Aspetar was formally designated as an IOC Research Centre for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health.

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