On Friday, Activity tracker maker Fitbit announced that young adults in the United States are lagging behind older age groups in returning to the same number of steps as before the coronavirus outbreak.
According to data aggregated from Fitbit users, women and men under 29 years old took fewer steps in June than the same period a year ago, as the novel coronavirus prompted people to stay at home. People over 30 years old were closer to last year’s levels, and women ages 50 years old to 64 years old even took more steps in mid-June than a year ago.
This week, officials in some states have expressed concern that the re-opening of bars, restaurants, and other businesses could draw young adults, in particular, from their homes and lead to infections among a group so far less affected by the virus.
Fitbit’s director of data science, Hulya Emir-Farinas, told Reuters that it was difficult to pinpoint why young adults are further from pre-outbreak steps than other age cohorts.
Emir-Farinas also said that “Perhaps this group is home from university or still working from home so not walking to class or commuting to work, or it could be that they are showing more caution,” “more ground to make up” because they are typically more active than others.
Other data tracked by Fitbit devices, including resting heart rates and vigorous movement, also suggest young adults were less active than older people this month.
Data from New York City revealed activity across all users fell 23 percent in April and 14 percent in May compared with normal. Fitbit said that but younger people’s activity dipped 34 percent in April and 24 percent in May.