The effectiveness of a 17-week lifestyle intervention on health behaviors among airline pilots during COVID-19 Academic Article uri icon


  • Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a 17-week, 3-component lifestyle intervention for enhancing health behaviors during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

    Methods: A parallel-group (intervention and control) study was conducted amongst 79 airline pilots over a 17-week period during the COVID-19 pandemic. The intervention group (n = 38) received a personalized sleep, dietary, and physical activity (PA) program. The control group (n = 41) received no intervention. Outcome measures for sleep, fruit and vegetable intake, PA, and subjective health were measured though an online survey before and after the 17-week period. The changes in outcome measures were used to determine the efficacy of the intervention.

    Results: Significant main effects for Time × Group were found for International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Walk (p = 0.02) and for all other outcome measures (p < 0.01). The intervention group significantly improved in sleep duration (p < 0.01; d = 1.02), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score (p < 0.01; d = -1.01), moderate-to-vigorous PA (p < 0.01; d = 1.32), fruit and vegetable intake (p < 0.01; d = 3.11), Short-Form-12v2 physical score (p < 0.01; d = 1.84), and Short-Form-12v2 mental score (p < 0.01; d = 2.69). The control group showed significant negative change for sleep duration (p < 0.01; d = -0.47), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score (p < 0.01; d = 0.28), and Short-Form-12v2 mental score (p < 0.01; d = -0.64).

    Conclusion: Results provide preliminary evidence that a 3-component healthy sleep, eating and PA intervention elicit improvements in health behaviors and perceived subjective health in pilots and may improve quality of life during an unprecedented global pandemic.

publication date

  • 2020