The novel coronavirus disease 2019 is a global public health crisis that disproportionately affects those with preexisting conditions. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide and many key CVD risk factors are modifiable (e.g., physical inactivity, sedentary behaviour, obesity). To limit the spread of coronavirus 2019, most governments have implemented restrictions and recommended staying at home, reducing social contact to a select and exclusive few, and limiting large gatherings. Such public health constraints may have unintended, negative health consequences on 24-hour movement behaviours. The primary purpose of this review is to provide practical at-home recommendations for sedentary time, sleep, and physical activity in those living with CVD. Adults with CVD will benefit from practical recommendations to reduce sedentary time, increase purposeful exercise, and maintain optimal sleep patterns while being at home and adhering to public health restrictions. Our recommendations include the following: (i) self-monitoring sitting time; (ii) engaging in 2-3 days per week of purposeful exercise for those with low exercise capacity and > 3 days per week for those with moderate-to-high exercise capacity; (iii) self-monitoring exercise intensity through the use of scales or wearable devices; (iv) maintaining a regular sleep schedule; and (v) moving daily. Clinicians should be aware that clear communication of the importance of limiting prolonged sedentary time, engaging in regular physical activity and exercise, and ensuring optimal sleep in association with the provision of clear, comprehensible, and practical advice is fundamental to ensuring that those living with CVD respond optimally to the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute