Depression is Associated with Moderate-Intensity Physical Activity among College Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Differs by Activity level, Gender and Gender-Role

Lin, Jingyuan and Guo, Tianyou and Becker, Benjamin and Yu, Qian and Chen, Sitong and Stubbs, Brendon and Md, Hossain and Cunha, Paolo and Soares, Fernanda and Veronese, Nicola and Yu, Jane and Grabovac, Igor and Smith, Lee and Yeung, Albert and Li, Hong and Zou, Liye (2020) Depression is Associated with Moderate-Intensity Physical Activity among College Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Differs by Activity level, Gender and Gender-Role. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 2020 (13). pp. 1123-1134. ISSN 1179-1578

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S277435

Abstract

Purpose: The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and associated restrictive measures have implications for depressive symptoms (henceforth depression) of young people and risk may be associated with their reduced physical activity (PA) level. Therefore, we aimed to examine the association between depressive symptoms and PA among college students with different gender and gender role (masculinity traits and femininity traits) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants and Methods: Cross-sectional study included 628 healthy college students from nineteen different locations. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scales (CES-D), the International Physical Activity Questionnaire - Short Form (IPAQ-SF), and the 50-item Chinese Sex-Role Inventory (CSRI-50) were used to measure depressive symptoms, PA continuous (weekly metabolic equivalent minutes, MET-minutes/week) and categorical indicators (activity level category) and gender role, respectively. The statistical analyses were used in partial correlation analysis, t-test, one-way ANOVA, moderation model tests, and linear regression model tests. Results: Total of 34.72% participants had clinically relevant depression (16, CES-D scale). Total of 58.6% participants were classified as a “low” activity level for spending less time on PA. Depression significantly negatively correlated with MET-minutes/week in moderate-intensity PA but not vigorous and walking scores. Of note, the depression-PA association was only moderated by the “low” activity level group in terms of categorical scores across gender groups. Participants with higher masculinity traits were less likely to have depression among all participants. Moreover, more recovered cases and fewer deaths could also predict the lower depression risk in the “high” activity level group. Conclusion: Moderate-intensity PA is beneficial for reducing depression risk among college students at a low activity level. College students with fewer masculinity traits (regardless of gender) are highly vulnerable to depression during the outbreak of COVID-19. Effective control of the COVID-19 pandemic seems critical to alleviating the burden of mental disorders of the public including depression.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: COVID-19, China, physical activity, depression, gender, masculinity, femininity
Faculty: COVID-19 Research Collection
Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2020 09:31
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:52
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/705966

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