Numerous studies have examined the relationship between changes in Physical Activity (PA) and mental health during the lockdown. With respect to Italy, there is a lack of studies investigating changes in the type of and in the levels of PA performed pre- and during the lockdown and the relationship among PA changes and psychological variables such as distress, intolerance of uncertainty (IU), physical and mental health, body dissatisfaction (BD), and motivation towards PA. Furthermore, no studies have considered pre-lockdown activity levels and gender differences when investigating changes in PA and psychological variables. For this purpose, we administered questionnaires assessing PA levels before and during the lockdown and psychological variables. We collected data from 1364 adults (377 males). Results indicated that 48.40% of participants did not change their PA levels, and a small percentage increased it (8.96%). In terms of PA reduction, 42.64% of participants showed a decrease in PA. These participants were highly active before the pandemic. We observed that a PA reduction during the lockdown was associated with higher distress and lower mental health, while changes in PA did not seem to have affected BD and IU. Only small differences in physical health were found between individuals who increased, maintained, or decreased PA. Mixed results emerged pertaining to motivation towards PA. Gender differences were not related to participants' PA level pre-lockdown nor to PA changes from pre- to the lockdown. Our study further supports the hypothesis that practicing PA during stressful situations like the pandemic may preserve psychological wellbeing.

How COVID-19 lockdown affected physical activity levels and wellbeing: an Italian Survey

Cerea, S
;
Pecunioso, A;Casali, N;Moro, T;Paoli, A;Ghisi, M
2022

Abstract

Numerous studies have examined the relationship between changes in Physical Activity (PA) and mental health during the lockdown. With respect to Italy, there is a lack of studies investigating changes in the type of and in the levels of PA performed pre- and during the lockdown and the relationship among PA changes and psychological variables such as distress, intolerance of uncertainty (IU), physical and mental health, body dissatisfaction (BD), and motivation towards PA. Furthermore, no studies have considered pre-lockdown activity levels and gender differences when investigating changes in PA and psychological variables. For this purpose, we administered questionnaires assessing PA levels before and during the lockdown and psychological variables. We collected data from 1364 adults (377 males). Results indicated that 48.40% of participants did not change their PA levels, and a small percentage increased it (8.96%). In terms of PA reduction, 42.64% of participants showed a decrease in PA. These participants were highly active before the pandemic. We observed that a PA reduction during the lockdown was associated with higher distress and lower mental health, while changes in PA did not seem to have affected BD and IU. Only small differences in physical health were found between individuals who increased, maintained, or decreased PA. Mixed results emerged pertaining to motivation towards PA. Gender differences were not related to participants' PA level pre-lockdown nor to PA changes from pre- to the lockdown. Our study further supports the hypothesis that practicing PA during stressful situations like the pandemic may preserve psychological wellbeing.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3454190
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