BASES COVID-19 Interest Group

Mission Statement

The purpose of the COVID-19 Special Interest Group is to:
  • Promote SES research related to COVID-19
  • Encourage evidence-based practice in SES related to COVID-19
  • Distribute knowledge about COVID-19 relevant to SES.

By so doing the SIG will:

  • Respond to an expressed need by over 40 BASES members to come together to learn from each other, to support each other, to advance knowledge and to deliver evidence-based practice in relation to SES and COVID-19.
  • Develop a group that the wider BASES membership and the Board can refer to for advice on SES and COVID-19.
  • Develop practical resources (e.g. reading lists) that members of the SIG and the broader BASES community can use.
  • Promote the World Health Organization 2016 Statement on data sharing in public health emergencies
  • Support the principles established by the Welcome Trust ‘to ensure that research findings and data relevant to this outbreak are shared rapidly and openly to inform the public health response and help save lives.’

By achieving this mission, the SIG will help BASES remain relevant in a post COVID-19 world and what will follow. For example, being prepared to consult on the PM’s proposed Strategy to address obesity (as reported in the Times 15/5/20 page1).


As previously reported, this SIG is ‘dormant’, meaning it does not run the normal annual programme of events associated with a SIG. However, i) it remains part of the structure of BASES, ii) from time to time it may run special projects, and most importantly it is iii) ready to ‘step up’ if needed. This arrangement is intended to ensure that BASES is prepared to respond quickly to the needs of its members and the public if and when another Pandemic occurs.

Whilst the SIG is ‘dormant’, BASES did deliver two pieces of work over the year. Firstly, the Association applied to be a core participant in the COVID-19 Public Inquiry. Whilst this application was not successful it did provide an opportunity to inform the Inquiry about the Association and the work of its members. Secondly, at the 19th Heads of Department Forum in March 2023, Dr Andy Smith FBASES presented a session entitled ‘Climate Change and the Pandemic: The Long-Term Impact’.


The COVID-19 SIG will provide an active forum for networking, discussion, activities, knowledge sharing and debate among BASES members who share an interest in this area.

The aims of the SIG is to:

  • Create a community of practice & knowledge exchange to share best practice.
  • Foster open science, data sharing, co-authorship, joint projects & partnership working.
  • Propose research priorities to help guide investigators & funders.
  • Develop CPD & teaching materials.

Steering Committee

Members of the Steering Committee are:

Andy Smith (Chair)
Lindsay Bottoms
Liba Sheeran
Helen Dawes
Ruth Ashton
Mark Ross
Jack Fahey
Rita de Oliveira
Neil Maxwell
Mark Faghy
Dan Gordon


The COVID-19 SIG which was established on 19/05/2020 will:

  • Contribute to the continuing professional development of BASES members through webinars, workshops and presentations.
  • Submit articles to The Sport and Exercise Scientist facilitating continuing professional development of members and the sharing of professional practice.
  • Develop and share knowledge via BASES Expert Statements and BASES Position Stands
  • Present sessions at BASES Conferences
  • Send e-mails to BASES members who have opted in to receive communications from the SIG
  • Develop networks of experts and share ideas and knowledge via social media channels.       

How to get involved

BASES members can opt in to communications from this Special Interest Group via their Member Profile (in the Members' Area) to receive updates and information on how to get more involved. 

One way to get involved is to add to this webpage by making a contribution to the reading list, project and notices section by contacting us at (

Or email to be added to the group.


Those interested in COVID-19 may find the following material interesting.

If you would like to add a reference to this reading list, please send the details to the BASES Office (

View our BASES expert statement here

AuthorsTitle / JournalWeb Link / Reference
A, Bisciotti GN, Eirale C, et al.Football cannot restart soon during the COVID-19 emergency! A critical perspective from the Italian experience and a call for action.Br J Sports Med Epub ahead of print: [14/5/20]
Abertay UniversityThis innovative project from Abertay University is well worth finding out more about:
Barker-Davies RM, O'Sullivan O, Senaratne KPP, et al.The Stanford Hall consensus statement for post-COVID-19 rehabilitation - British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 31 May 2020. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2020-102596
Butler Michael J, and Ruth M. BarrientosBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Chen P, Mao L, Nassis GP, Harmer P, Ainsworth BE, Li FCoronavirus disease (COVID-19): The need to maintain regular physical activity while taking precautions
Obesity could shift severe COVID-19 disease to younger ages
J Sport Health Sci 2020;9:1034. (
Published online April 30, 2020
Calder PC. Nutrition, immunity and CO
BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health 2020;0. VID-19.
doi:10.1136/ bmjnph-2020-000085
Carmody et al., 2020When can professional sport recommence safely during the COVID-19 pandemic? Risk assessment and factors to consider. BMJ Online.
Dores H, Cardim N. Return to play after COVID-19: a sport cardiologist’s view - Br J Sports Med Epub ahead of print: [14/5/20]. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2020-1024
Hall G, Laddu DR, Phillips SA, Lavie CJ, Arena R. A tale of two pandemics: How will COVID-19 and global trends in physical inactivity and sedentary behavior affect one another?[published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 8]. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2020;S0033-0620(20)30077-3. doi:10.1016/j.pcad.2020.04.005
Hossien Mehrsafar, A., Gazerani, P., Moghadam Zadeh, A., Carlos Jaenes Sánchez, J.,Addressing potential impact of COVID-19 pandemic on physical and mental health of elite athletes, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity (2020),doi:  
Jiménez-Pavón D, Carbonell-Baeza A, Lavie CJ. Physical exercise as therapy to fight against the mental and physical consequences of COVID-19 quarantine: Special focus in older people [published online ahead of print, 2020 Mar 24].Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2020;S0033-0620(20)30063-3. doi:10.1016/j.pcad.2020.03.009
Lippi, G., Henry, B. M., & Sanchis-Gomar, F. (2020)Physical inactivity and cardiovascular disease at the time of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Mann RH, Clift BC, Boykoff J, et al.Athletes as community; athletes in community: covid-19, sporting mega-events and athlete health protection. British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 17 April 2020
Mumford, S. (2021).A Philosopher Looks at Sport. Cambridge University PressOne of the questions the author of this book had in mind was - ‘Does sport emerge with increased or diminished importance from these calamitous events?’ (i.e., the Pandemic)
Morrey, Luke B. BA1; Roberts, William O. MD, MS, FACSM2; Wichser, Lora MD3 Exercise-related Mental Health Problems and Solutions during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Current Sports Medicine Reports: June 2020 - Volume 19 - Issue 6 - p 194-195doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000725
National Student Survey (NSS)The National Student Survey (NSS) report their findings related to the Pandemic.
Neves J, Hewitt R

AdvanceHE and the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) have published their Student Academic Experience Survey 2021. This includes some interesting results on the workload of Sport and Exercise Science students (see page 43) and their satisfaction with the use of educational technology (see page 58).

Nieß AM, Bloch W, Friedmann-Bette B, Grim C, Halle M, Hirschmüller A, Kopp C, Meyer T, Niebauer J,

Reinsberger C, Röcker K, Scharhag J, Scherr J, Schneider C, Steinacker JM, Urhausen A, Wolfarth B, Mayer F 

Position Stand: Return to Sport in the Current Coronavirus Pandemic (SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19)click here for position stand

Painter, Anthony (Chief Research & Impact Officer at the RSA)
Blog: See the future. Act NowSee the future. Act now - RSA (
Pecanha et al., 2010.Social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic can increase physical inactivity and the global burden of cardiovascular disease. American J Physiology- Heart and Circ Physiology.
Phelan et al., 2020A game plan for the resumption of sport and exercise after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. JAMA Cardiology.
Sallis James F, Deepti Adlakha , Adewale Oyeyemi , Deborah SalvoAn international physical activity and public health research agenda to inform COVID-19 policies and practices, Journal of Sport and Health Science (2020),doi:
Sarto, F., Impellizzeri, F. M., Spörri, J., Porcelli, S., Olmo, J., Requena, B., … Franchi, M. V. (2020).Impact of potential physiological changes due to COVID-19 home confinement on athlete health protection in elite sports: a call for awareness in sports programming. Retrieved from
Science Media CentreOne of the things the Pandemic has highlighted has been the importance of the links between Science and the Media. If you want to do more in ‘this space’ then the Science Media Centre is a great resource. Please see:
Schinke R, Papaioannou A, Henriksen K, Si G, Zhang L, Haberl P. Sport psychology services to high performance athletes during COVID-19. International Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology. 202018(3):269-272.
Simpson, R. from University of Arizona,Tucson posted on the ACSM website titled 'Exercise, Immunity and the COVID-19 Pandemic'

Smith A, de Oliveira R, Faghy M, Ross M, Maxwell N

The BASES Position Stand on the 'Reopening' of Sport and Exercise Science Departments in higher education after lockdown

Smith A, de Oliveira R, Faghy M, Ross M, Maxwell N

The BASES Expert Statement on 'Reflecting on re-opening? You are not alone'

Smith A, Briddle S, Bird SThe BASES Expert Statement on Physical Activity and Exercise during COVID-19 Lockdown and "Restrictions" 
"Why Self-Isolation Brings Mental Health Strain for Elite Athletes" article on the "The Conversation"

The Science Council, Technician Commitment and Partners
Report looking at how COVID19 has affected technicianswebsite link
report link


What SIG members are doing

If you want to tell people what research or projects that you are doing this is a place to do it.

Send a short paragraph with a contact email so people can contact you if they want more details to the BASES office (

  • Andy Smith is writing with Barbara Jefferis (UCL) and David Lyreskog (Oxford University) to explore how Geriatric Exercise Science can help people age robustly thereby reducing the incidence of ‘frailty’ and the associated risks from COVID-19. For more information please contact Andy Smith - 
  • Colleagues from the University of Northumbria and Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge have recently submitted to Perspectives in Public Health findings from their study titled ‘COVID-19: Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour During the United Kingdom Lockdown.’ A second study is currently underway assessing the impact of the lockdown on physical activity and health in the blind and visually impaired in the UK. This is a collaborative study in conjunction with British Blind Sport. For more details contact Dan Gordon -
  • Colleagues at the University of Hertfordshire are conducting research titled ‘Physical Activity Habit Formation during COVID-19 Stay-At-Home Restrictions’. In summary this is a longitudinal survey-based study examining how physical activity habits form and change throughout the COVID-19 period and 6 months follow up. For more details contact Lindsay Bottoms -
  • Colleagues at London South Bank University are involved with a research project entitled “Understanding the barriers and motivation to exercise in older adults before and after the CoV-19 lockdown”. For more details contact Rita Oliveira -
  • At Napier University Mark Ross is working with a group of cardiovascular researchers from the UK and Australia on determining the impact of COVID-19 on the cardiovascular system. This taskforce aims to provide clinicians and healthcare workers with information and reports of the latest information of how COVID-19 affects cardiovascular health and function in patients, being published in peer-review studies (, with the first report published in May ( For more details contact Mark Ross
  • Researchers from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University are conducting research to explore changes in adults' physical activity during the COVID-19 lockdown. For more information about the study, please contact Dr Nicola Buckland -
  • Colleagues from the University of Hertfordshire are undertaking a study titled ‘Effect of home confinement and flexible working patterns on physical activity and lifestyle behaviour during the COVID-19 outbreak’ which will look at furloughed employees and working from home to determine if it improves physical activity and eating habits. For more detail contact Lindsy Kass on
  • Dr Lindsay Bottoms has been working with Leon Paul a fencing equipment provider to help explore the concentration of gases being breathed in whilst exercising at fencing intensity (~83% heart rate max) wearing either a face mask or a face guard under a fencing mask. The company had been liaising with the International Fencing Federation to look at ways to help get the sport back to action and they were concerned about the high levels of carbon dioxide with a face mask under a fencing mask when exercising at high intensity. So, I (i.e. Lindsay) tested myself at home on the treadmill in fencing kit. I measured oxygen saturation levels, carbon dioxide and oxygen concentrations in the fencing mask with a face guard that they created and without and compared this to a traditional cloth face mask. The results highlight the need for further research on the safety of exercise with a facemask. For more details contact
  • Dr Fiona Chambers, University College Cork (UCC), will be presenting within the BASES multi-disciplinary webinar series this November, but in the meantime, she is leading this initiative in partnership with UCC Sport, Sport Ireland, the International Sport and Culture Association, the Federation of Irish Sports, the Cork Local Sports Partnership and the National Outdoor Education and Training Centre.
    This FREE competition is for teams worldwide to consider the question:
    How might we sustainably redesign sport and physical activity for children and families, the young and the not-so-young, for participants, spectators, fans and community groups, so that it is inclusive, accessible, attainable – and fun! – during the pandemic and afterwards?
    Registration opens on 19 June 2020. The on-line event will take place during the weekend of 26-28 June. Successful teams’ ideas will be incubated in their organisations. Intellectual Property remains with the teams. A briefing documentcan be found here. Thanks for your consideration of this opportunity.
  • Neil Maxwell from the University of Brighton is collaborating with Ana Bonell and Karen Forrest (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) and Behzad Nadjm (Medical Research Council, The Gambia) on a project that will evaluate heat alleviation strategies in healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment in The Gambia. The SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic is accelerating and this respiratory infection is highly contagious. Healthcare workers provide vital care to patients suffering with this infection and must do this whilst wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimise the risk to themselves, their co-workers and their families. PPE is effective at preventing transmission, but it also adds a physical and thermal strain since it interrupts our physiological mechanisms of heat loss. The project is supported by a Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD Studentship Grant. For more information please contact Neil Maxwell –
  • Dr Melitta McNarry and Dr Kelly Mackintosh have been working with Sport Wales to develop the recently inaugurated Welsh Institute of Physical Activity, Health and Sport (WIPAHS), which links Sport Wales and all higher education institutes across Wales. They have appointed a 6-month Research Assistant, Dr James Shelley, to work with WIPAHS and co-ordinate research activity across Wales related to COVID-19 and sport and exercise sciences. They have an academic from each Welsh HEI who is driving this across their institute. For more details contact
  • Drs McNarry and Mackintosh with Dr James Faulkner from the University of Winchester, who has led a survey across numerous countries, including the home four nations, investigating the impact of lockdown on physical activity and mental health. The second survey will be being released soon. For more details contact Dr James Faulker -
  • Prof Charlie Foster built on his links with the Chief Medical Officer’s has set up a free checking service to ensure the most accurate information was being disseminated during lockdown ( Dr Kelly Mackintosh was the lead for Wales, with Prof Foster, Prof Mutrie and Prof Murphy leading England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively.
  • Dr Kelly Mackintosh was invited to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on Sport at Welsh Parliament (
  • Dr Kelly Mackintosh was invited to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on Physical Activity and Sport on BBC Radio Wales (


This is a space where you can upload details of events (e.g. webinars) that you think members might be interested in. To do so send information to BASES - (

The Clinical Exercise Physiology Association (CEPA) are hosting a virtual one-day conference on 2 October 2021. The theme of the conference will be the impact of COVID-19 on the practice of clinical exercise physiology (please see attached promo).

Annual Reports

August 2022

In September 2021, members of the COVID-19 SIG took part in a debate at the annual BASES conference on whether the lessons from the Pandemic had been learned. Following the debate, in the Winter of 2021, Drs Andy Smith FBASES, Rita de Oliveira, Mark Faghy, Mark Ross and Neil Maxwell FBASES wrote the BASES’ Position Stand on the Ongoing Pandemic. In the Stand, and as communicated to the membership, it was noted that the SIG would become ‘dormant’. That is, it would remain part of the structure of BASES and from time to time will run special projects and be ready to ‘step up’ if needed. All the resources produced by the SIG remain available on the BASES website, under ‘Reading’ and ‘Resources’. Drawing on these resources, the Public and External Affairs Advisory Panel will attempt to submit evidence to the UK Public Inquiry on COVID-19, which the Government has recently established.

February 2021 - click to see update

August 2020

Envisaged following publication of the BASES expert statement on ‘lockdowns’, the COVID-19 SIG was established at the end of May 2020. The SIG aims to i) Create a community of practice & knowledge exchange, ii) foster open science, data sharing, co-authorship & partnership working, iii) propose research priorities and iv) develop CPD & teaching materials. In only four months members have i) uploaded projects and papers onto the webpage, ii) drafted the BASES position stand on ‘reopening’ SES Departments, iii) taken part in an international webinar with the University of Varanasi-India and iv) are currently working together on a paper for TSES. Thanks go to Team BASES, the founding members and the SIG’s Steering Group who made this happen.