The impact of containment in March 2021: The French walk even more!

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"National containment", "restriction of authorized outings" or "curfew": a jargon that has become common in recent months among the French and the world. In France, the first sanitary measures were put in place on March 17, 2020 for a period of 1 month and 28 days. Then, as a déjà vu, a second time on October 30, 2020 for a duration of 1 month and 16 days. Finally, a third containment was announced on April 5, 2021. This set of restrictions on travel and human contact impact the practice of walking of the inhabitants of France.

Article realized in April 2021, republished in summer 2022

WeWard, whose primary objective is to fight against sedentary lifestyles by offering an innovative mobile application that deciphers the behavior of its users during confinement.

1. The objective of the WeWard study

WeWard motivates its users to reach the 10,000 daily steps recommended by the WHO to stay healthy. The startup has developed a mobile application that encourages its users to walk thanks to an innovative system of steps to unlock, challenges to take and rewards to win.

The reinforced containment announced by the French government and extended to all departments in France was introduced to deal with a new epidemic wave caused by the coronavirus. The startup WeWard deciphers the behavior of app users in the Île-de-France region by analyzing the walking rate of its residents between 2020 and 2021. WeWard engineers have analyzed, via the WeWard Insight platform, the walking rate of French residents during the first two confinements announced in March and October 2020 as well as the walking rate of Parisians during the introduction of reinforced braking measures in March 2021.

Source: WHO (World Health Organization)

2. Evolution of the walking rate of the French over the whole territory during the 3 confinements

*% of the average walking rate of the French compared to the weeks before the confinement

The graph above reveals that the French are walking more and more compared to the first confinement in March 2020.

-63% of daily steps taken by the French during the 1st confinement compared to the previous weeks.

Significant increase in walking rate during the second confinement compared to the first. The walking rate of the French decreased by about 8% during the second confinement.

In March 2021, after the first restrictions at the beginning of this month, the walking rate of the French increased by 2%.

3. Detailed analysis for Île-de-France

*% change in the average walking rate of people in the Paris region compared to weeks before the lockdown

This representation shows the evolution of the walking rate of Ile-de-France residents during these 2020-2021 restriction periods. Significant results are observed according to the data collected during the 3 confinements from the residents of Ile-de-France :

The first containment in 2020 had a strong impact on the sedentary rate of the inhabitants of Ile-de-France: a 66% decrease in the walking rate of the inhabitants of Ile-de-France was established.

The 2nd containment also had an impact on the rate of walking in Ile-de-France, which fell by 13%.

+ 7% of daily steps taken by Parisians during the last government announcements in March 2021.

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