Associations between physical activity, sitting time, and time spent outdoors with mental health during the first COVID-19 lock down in Austria

Haider, Sandra and Smith, Lee and Markovic, Lovro and Schuch, Felipe B. and Sadarangani, Kabir P. and López-Sánchez, Guillermo F. and López-Bueno, Rubén and Gil-Salmerón, Alejandro and Rieder, Anita and Tully, Mark A. and Tschiderer, Lena and Seekircher, Lisa and Willeit, Peter and Grabovac, Igor (2021) Associations between physical activity, sitting time, and time spent outdoors with mental health during the first COVID-19 lock down in Austria. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (17). p. 9168. ISSN 1660-4601

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179168

Abstract

Measures implemented to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 have resulted in a decrease in physical activity (PA) while sedentary behaviour increased. The aim of the present study was to explore associations between PA and mental health in Austria during COVID-19 social restrictions. In this web-based cross-sectional study (April–May 2020) moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), sitting time, and time spent outdoors were self-reported before and during self-isolation. Mental well-being was assessed with the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, and the Beck depression and anxiety inventories. The majority of the participants (n = 652) were female (72.4%), with a mean age of 36.0 years and a standard deviation (SD) of 14.4. Moreover, 76.5% took part in ≥30 min/day of MVPA, 53.5% sat ≥10 h/day, and 66.1% spent ≥60 min/day outdoors during self-isolation. Thirty-eight point five percent reported high mental well-being, 40.5% reported depressive symptoms, and 33.9% anxiety symptoms. Participating in higher levels of MVPA was associated with higher mental well-being (odds ratio = OR: 3.92; 95% confidence interval = 95%CI: 1.51–10.15), less depressive symptoms (OR: 0.44; 95%CI: 0.29–0.66) and anxiety symptoms (OR = 0.62; 95%CI: 0.41–0.94), and less loneliness (OR: 0.46; 95%CI: 0.31–0.69). Participants sitting <10 h/day had higher odds of mental well-being (OR: 3.58; 95%CI: 1.13–11.35). Comparable results were found for spending ≥60 min/day outdoors. Maintaining one’s MVPA levels was associated with higher mental well-being (OR = 8.61, 95%CI: 2.68–27.62). In conclusion, results show a positive association between PA, time spent outdoors and mental well-being during COVID-19 social restrictions. Interventions aiming to increase PA might mitigate negative effects of such restrictions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Austria, physical activity, COVID-19, mental health, sitting time
Faculty: COVID-19 Research Collection
Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2021 13:02
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2021 17:30
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/706868

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