Document Type : Original Articles


1 Department of Occupational Therapy, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Ali Asghar Hospital, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 3Department of Biostatics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Research Center, Colorectal Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 Department of Occupational Therapy, Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, England

5 Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation, Shahid Beheshti Medical Science University, Tehran, Iran


Background: This study explored the concept of ‘life balance’ during physical isolation due to COVID-19 in Iran in 2020.
Methods: In a cross-sectional design, 403 participants completed the internet-based "Life Balance Inventory (LBI)”, which includes five subscales: health, relationship, identity, challenging/interesting activity, and daily activities. The data were analyzed using SPSS 21, and a significant level of less than 0.05 was considered. Descriptive statistics, t-tests, and one-way ANOVA were utilized in the analysis.
Results: The total mean score of LBI was 1.51+_0.38(unbalanced). The scores were distributed among the participants as follows: 52.6%  of participants scored between 0.6 and 1.5 (very unbalanced);  37.7% of participants scored between 1 and 1.5 (unbalanced); 8% of participants scored between 2 and 2.5 (moderately balanced); and finally, 1.7% of participants scored between 2.5 and 3 ( very balanced). Significant relationships were found between LBI and gender (P=0.001), chronic comorbidity (P-value =0.029), and Job (P-value=0.044). The health subscale showed no statistical difference according to the demographic factors. Males demonstrated more life balance in their daily activities, including driving and social transportation (p=0/001). Married participants and those older than 40 exhibited more balance in the relationship subscale (p-value=0/001). Teachers and faculty members showed more balance in identity (p=0.014) and relationship (p=0.001). Higher-income participants revealed more life balance in the challenge/interesting subscale (p=0.033).
Conclusion: The results suggested that participants experienced an unbalanced lifestyle during the early phase of COVID-19 isolation.


  1. Usher K, Bhullar N, Jackson D. Life in the pandemic: Social isolation and mental health. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 2020.
  2. Zakay D. Psychological time as information: The case of boredom. Frontiers in psychology. 2014;5:917.
  3. Rajkumar RP. COVID-19 and mental health: A review of the existing literature. Asian journal of psychiatry. 2020:102066.
  4. Wang C, Pan R, Wan X, Tan Y, Xu L, Ho CS, et al. Immediate psychological responses and associated factors during the initial stage of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic among the general population in China. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2020;17(5):1729.
  5. Vindegaard N, Benros ME. COVID-19 pandemic and mental health consequences: systematic review of the current evidence. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 2020.
  6. Fine M, Spencer R. Social isolation: Development of an assessment tool for HACC services. 2009.
  7. Altena E, Baglioni C, Espie CA, Ellis J, Gavriloff D, Holzinger B, et al. Dealing with sleep problems during home confinement due to the COVID‐19 outbreak: Practical recommendations from a task force of the European CBT‐I Academy. Journal of Sleep Research. 2020:e13052.
  8. Wagman P, Håkansson C, Jacobsson C, Falkmer T, Björklund A. What is considered important for life balance? Similarities and differences among some working adults. Scandinavian journal of occupational therapy. 2012;19(4):377-84.
  9. Matuska KM, Christiansen CH. A proposed model of lifestyle balance. Journal of Occupational Science. 2008;15(1):9-19.
  10. Pentland W, McColl MA. Occupational integrity: Another perspective on “life balance”. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2008;75(3):135-8.
  11. Backman CL. Occupational balance: Exploring the relationships among daily occupations and their influence on well-being. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2004;71(4):202-9.
  12. Shamsoddini A, Bazigar B, Dalvand H. Need to Perform Rehabilitation Exercises at Home by Parents of Children with Neurological Diseases to Maintain Performance During COVID-19 Lockdown. Iranian journal of child neurology. 2021;15(4):9-14.
  13. Özden F, Özkeskin M, Yüceyar N. The life balance inventory in patients with multiple sclerosis: Cross-cultural adaptation, reliability and validity of the Turkish version. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 2022:03080226221136816.
  14. Park S, Lee HJ, Jeon B-J, Yoo E-Y, Kim J-B, Park J-H. Effects of occupational balance on subjective health, quality of life, and health-related variables in community-dwelling older adults: A structural equation modeling approach. Plos one. 2021;16(2):e0246887.
  15. Matuska K. Description and development of the Life Balance Inventory. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health. 2012;32(1):220-8.
  16. Ponto JA, Ellington L, Mellon S, Beck SL, editors. Predictors of adjustment and growth in women with recurrent ovarian cancer. Oncology nursing forum; 2010.
  17. Costanzo ES, Stawski RS, Ryff CD, Coe CL, Almeida DM. Cancer survivors' responses to daily stressors: Implications for quality of life. Health Psychology. 2012;31(3):360.
  18. DuBenske LL, Gustafson DH, Namkoong K, Hawkins RP, Atwood AK, Brown RL, et al. CHESS improves cancer caregivers’ burden and mood: Results of an eHealth RCT. Health Psychology. 2014;33(10):1261.
  19. Artino Jr AR, Durning SJ, Sklar DP. Guidelines for reporting survey-based research submitted to academic medicine. Academic Medicine. 2018;93(3):337-40.
  20. Check J, Schutt RK. Survey research. Research methods in education. 2012:159-85.
  21. Baltar F, Brunet I. Social research 2.0: virtual snowball sampling method using Facebook. Internet research. 2012.
  22. Ponto J. Understanding and Evaluating Survey Research. J Adv Pract Oncol. 2015;6(2):168-71.
  23. Dillman DA, Smyth JD, Christian LM. Internet, phone, mail, and mixed-mode surveys: the tailored design method: John Wiley & Sons; 2014.
  24. Nazi S, Shafaroodi N, Lajevardi L, Mehraban AH, Yazdani F, Hosseinzadeh S. Life Balance of mothers of children with Cerebral Palsy. International Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2017;8(11):583.
  25. Guzick AG, Candelari A, Wiese AD, Schneider SC, Goodman WK, Storch EA. Obsessive–compulsive disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review. Current psychiatry reports. 2021;23(11):1-10.
  26. Cassinat JR, Whiteman SD, Serang S, Dotterer AM, Mustillo SA, Maggs JL, et al. Changes in family chaos and family relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from a longitudinal study. Developmental psychology. 2021;57(10):1597.
  27. Moghanibashi-Mansourieh A. Assessing the anxiety level of Iranian general population during COVID-19 outbreak. Asian journal of psychiatry. 2020;51:102076.
  28. Capone V, Borrelli R, Marino L, Schettino G. Mental well-being and job satisfaction of hospital physicians during COVID-19: Relationships with efficacy beliefs, organizational support, and organizational non-technical skills. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022;19(6):3734.
  29. Farber JE, Payton C, Dorney P. Life balance and professional quality of life among baccalaureate nurse faculty. Journal of Professional Nursing. 2020;36(6):587-94.
  30. Nickell LA, Crighton EJ, Tracy CS, Al-Enazy H, Bolaji Y, Hanjrah S, et al. Psychosocial effects of SARS on hospital staff: survey of a large tertiary care institution. Cmaj. 2004;170(5):793-8.
  31. Charmaz K. Loss of self: a fundamental form of suffering in the chronically ill. Sociology of health & illness. 1983;5(2):168-95.
  32. Goto R, Ozone S, Kawada S, Yokoya S. Gender-Related Differences in Social Participation Among Japanese Elderly Individuals During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Survey. Journal of Primary Care & Community Health. 2022;13:21501319221111113.
  33. Matud MP. Gender differences in stress and coping styles. Personality and individual differences. 2004;37(7):1401-15.
  34. Del Boca D, Oggero N, Profeta P, Rossi M. Women's Work, Housework and Childcare, before and during COVID-19. 2020.
  35. McLaren HJ, Wong KR, Nguyen KN, Mahamadachchi KND. Covid-19 and Women’s Triple Burden: Vignettes from Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Vietnam and Australia. Social Sciences. 2020;9(5):87.
  36. Matuska K, Bass J, Schmitt JS. Life balance and perceived stress: Predictors and demographic profile. OTJR: occupation, participation and health. 2013;33(3):146-58.
  37. Yazdani F, Bonsaksen T. Introduction to the Model of Occupational Wholeness. ErgoScience. 2017;12(1).
  38. Christiansen CH, Matuska KM. Lifestyle balance: A review of concepts and research. Journal of Occupational Science. 2006;13(1):49-61.