Am I better exercising indoors or outdoors during the pandemic? #Infographic

Guidelines and orientations related to social distancing, safety and hygiene

The issues around returning-to-play both during and in the post-pandemic period, in elite and community settings have been extensively addressed in the literature1,2,3,4 and through several blog posts here in the BJSM blog 5,6,7,8,9. However, regarding the general population, a clear, careful, transparent, and evidence-based public health message is also needed and could be considered more urgent, addressing the possible environments to perform exercise (indoor and outdoor) and the risks of infection, to ensure safety when exercising.

In this sense, here we offer an infographic summarising the guidelines and orientations related to social distancing, safety and hygiene, based on research and official advice. The summary of practical applications could collaborate with the public health strategies in place to combat infections in places with exercise10. This includes parks or open public spaces, sporting courts and fields, sports hall, gyms, fitness centers, gymnasiums, indoor swimming pools, ice hockey/ice skating arenas, indoor golf courses, indoor climbing facilities, indoor horse riding arenas, indoor motor sport arenas, Pilates and Yoga studios, and CrossFit boxes.

Although without a doubt, the safest place to exercise is at home, we recognize that the majority of the population does not have the autonomy to exercise consciously and safely at home. Therefore, the reopening of practice places must be accompanied with appropriate guidelines.

Authors and Affiliations:

Fábio Hech Dominski1, Bruno Hech Dominski2, and Ricardo Brandt3

Fábio Hech Dominskiis a Brazilian physical education professor and PhD student. He lives in Florianopolis and works in Joinville. When not studying in the Laboratory of Sport and Exercise Psychology at the Santa Catarina State University, he can be found weightlifting at the gym, or now at home. E-mail: and Instagram: @fabiodominski

Bruno Hech Dominski2 is a Brazilian biologist and master’s student. He lives and studies in Florianopolis. When not doing his research at the Laboratory of Bacterial Molecular Genetics, Bruno likes to read a good book and play videogames. E-mail: and Instagram: @brunodominski

Ricardo Brandt3 is a Brazilian physical education professor. He is a PhD in sport psychology and lives in Marechal Cândido Rondon. Ricardo is a triathlete and recently completed an ironman. E-mail: and Instagram: @ricabrandt

Competing interests

None declared


  1. Phelan, D., Kim, J. H., & Chung, E. H. (2020). A game plan for the resumption of sport and exercise after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. JAMA cardiology.
  2. Elliott, N., Martin, R., Heron, N., Elliott, J., Grimstead, D., & Biswas, A. (2020). Infographic. Graduated return to play guidance following COVID-19 infection. British journal of sports medicine.
  3. Dores H, Cardim N. Return to play after COVID-19: a sport cardiologist’s view. British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 07 May 2020. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2020-102482
  4. Mohr, M., Nassis, G. P., Brito, J., Randers, M. B., Castagna, C., Parnell, D., & Krustrup, P. (2020). Return to elite football after the COVID-19 lockdown. Managing Sport and Leisure, 1-9.
  5. Baggish A, Drezner J. The resurgence of sport in the wake of COVID-19: cardiac considerations in competitive athletes. BJSM. Available:
  6. Return to Sport for North American Professional Sport Leagues in the Context of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). BJSM Blog. August 3, 2020. Available at:
  7. Community sport is back: here’s how to safely power up in a COVID-19 environment. BJSM Blog. July 27, 2020. Available at:
  8. Medical Care and first aid: a framework for organised non-elite sport during the COVID-19 pandemic. BJSM Blog. July 24, 2020. Available at:
  9. Project restart: Is it time to factor ethnicity into the return to sport protocols? BJSM Blog. July 9, 2020. Available at:
  10. Dominski FH, Brandt R. (2020). Do the benefits of exercise in indoor and outdoor environments during the COVID-19 pandemic outweigh the risks of infection?. Sport Sciences for Health, 1-6

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