Altogether 956 Slovenian and Italian respondents were taken for this analysis. See Table 1 for detailed description of the study sample. All respondents were older than 18 years. Informed consent was obtained from all participants on the first page of survey. Specifically, after reading the description of the survey and when they progressed to the first survey question, they marked their consent to participate in the study. See detailed description in Ethics approval and consent to participate. The study was ethically approved by the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education at University of Novi Sad, Serbia (Decision No. 46-06-02/20).
2.2 Research design
This study is part of a larger cross-sectional comparative study of everyday life practices in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic (ELP-COVID-19 survey)(3,15) conducted in nine European countries, besides ITA and SLO, also Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Serbia, Slovakia, and Spain, from April 15 to 28 2020, with the aim to identify the changes of everyday life practices and routines during the period before (baseline) and during the COVID-19 pandemic measures. ELP (Everyday life praxis) COVID-19 (ELP COVID-19) consortium of six partners from Science and Research Centre Koper (Slovenia), Faculties of sport, University of Novi Sad (Serbia), University of Palermo (Italy), University of Zagreb (Croatia), University of Prešov (Slovakia), University of Cadiz (Spain) has been established for this purpose.
2.3 The online questionnaire
The questionnaire “Everyday life in the time of COVID-19 pandemic restriction” (ELP COVID-19 study) was made for the purpose of the research and consisted of whole or/and the adapted parts of validated questionnaires: SIMPAQ – Simple Physical Activity Questionnaire(16) to collect data on sleeping time, PA, inactivity time as time before COVID–19 pandemic (BDC) and time during COVID– 19 pandemic measures; adapted part of EHIS European Health Interview Survey(17) for scales to assess eating habits and indicators of quality of life. We assessed change in body mass (in kg) in those using a body mass scale regularly. In those who did not we assessed body mass change using a 5-point Likert scale (values 1 and 2 represented body mass loss, value 3 represented no change, and values 4 and 5 represented body mass gains). Additionally, changes in quality and quantity of eating and other health related habits (alcohol and tobacco use) were also assessed by Likert scale. Together consists of 26 questions and was translated from English version in eight different languages of participating countries, including Slovene and Italian.
The online “open survey” was based on convenience sampling, in which the consortium researchers invited participants aged 18 and older who could be reached through a variety of means: personal email addresses, official websites of partner organizations, local online newspapers, etc. Prior the fielding the survey, the electronic questionnaire was tested in all participating countries by the research team in all languages. This included also checking the linguistic and formal suitability of the questionnaire and making any necessary adjustments. The open online survey was open from 15 to 28 April 2020.
Survey was formed in 1KA, an open-source application that enables services for online surveys, developed by the Centre for Social Informatics, at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (https://www.1ka.si/d/en/about/general-description). Data collection and analyses followed General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Participation in the survey was voluntary, visitors of the first page can decide to participate after the survey announcement. Additionally, respondents had the option to opt out of the questionnaire at any point prior to the submission process. Respondents were able to review and change their answers using the back button. Most of the questions in the survey were mandatory, a check for completeness after submitting the questionnaire was possible and mandatory items were highlighted.
Only surveys with completed mandatory questions were taken into analysis. The SPSS (version 26.0, IBM, USA) was used for data analysis. All data were presented as mean (standard deviation) values and were analysed separately for SLO and ITA regarding the collected data for the times before and during COVID-19 pandemic measures. Normal distribution (Histogram, Q-Q-plot, Skewness, Kurtosis, Shapiro-Wilk test) and homogeneity of variance (Levene test) were checked and met. The multivariate difference in all 14 everyday practices variables were tested by multivariate Hotelling's T2 test(18), while differences in each variable was tested by 2-way ANOVA (time, country) at a statistical significance of p<0.05. Where changes in baseline values were identified, an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), with baseline values as a covariate, was used to determine differences in changes during COVID-19 restrictions. Identification of significant predictors of body mass changes was made by a Multiple Linear Regression, where predictors passed non-multicollinearity assumptions (variance inflation factor<2). Additionally, we presented frequency analysis of changes in eating habits, alcohol consumption and smoking in Figure 3. For that purpose, only subjects that responded from 1-5 on a 5-point Likert scale were analysed: 1-much less, 2-less, 3-the same, 4-little more, and 5-much more. While those that indicated 6-cannot estimate or 7-not applicable were excluded. In each analysis (praxis) a Bonferroni correction of p-value was used.