To answer our research questions, we collected data between 7 June and 27 July 2021 within the nationwide Dutch LISS panel (for more information about the LISS panel, see www.lissdata.nl (accessed on 17 August 2021)). This panel consists of a representative random sample of approximately 5000 households drawn from Dutch population registers. These households comprised approximately 7500 individuals aged 16 and older. Panel members were questioned monthly on different topics, with core modules repeated each year. To study the impact of WFH on sports participation, we merged the LISS module in which we elicited elaborate information on sports participation in March, April and May of 2021, with general information from the LISS core module on work (collected in April and May 2021). Higher educated respondents were slightly overrepresented in LISS. We therefore weighted our data on educational level, sex and age group to match the distribution of these characteristics in the Netherlands in 2021.
Our findings indicate a positive association between WFH and sports participation, as the prevalence of sports participation in general, individually, at home and in the public space was higher among those who worked from home compared to those who did not. Our outcomes thus yield implications for both employers and policy makers seeking to promote sports participation. Though we conducted our study during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we were mainly interested in the impact of WFH on contexts and locations of sports participation that were significantly affected by the COVID-19 restrictions, our results may nonetheless be relevant after the pandemic.
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