The COVID-19 Conundrum: Keeping safe while becoming inactive. A rapid review of physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and exercise in adults by gender and age.
PloS one. 2022;(1):e0263053
BACKGROUND Coronavirus (COVID-19) has severely impacted lifestyles worldwide. Responses to COVID-19 have intentionally restricted the factors that encourage regular and frequent PA; opportunity, capability and motivation. However, the effects of these restrictions are likely to have differed by gender and age and different intensities of PA. This rapid review builds on previous evidence by synthesising the global impact of COVID-19 on adult PA through specific intensities and types of PA and evaluating this by gender and age. METHODS A rapid systematic search of seven electronic databases (PubMed, MEDLINE, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, Academic Search Complete, APA PsycInfo, and APA PsycArticles) was performed from December 2019 to January 2021. Studies investigating adult change in PA, exercise or sedentary behaviour due to COVID-19 were included. RESULTS From an initial database search identifying 3,863 articles, 66 remained for synthesis after applying eligibility criteria. Results demonstrate decreases among all intensities and types of PA-walking (6 out of 7 papers), moderate-only (5 out of 6 papers), vigorous-only (5 out of 6 papers) and MVPA (4 out of 5 papers); as well as overall PA (14-72% participants reported a decrease). Reflecting that COVID-19 responses were designed to have universal effects, they also achieved whole-society decreases in PA behaviour, accented in older age groups. CONCLUSION There is a universal need to address the low levels of PA post-COVID-19. The consequences of decreased PA across all intensities has powerful, potentially recoverable, impacts. Universal declines have implications for public health officials and PA advocates for post-COVID-19 initiatives to promote PA.
Sustaining efficient immune functions with regular physical exercise in the COVID-19 era and beyond.
European journal of clinical investigation. 2021;(5):e13485
The new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) appearance in Wuhan, China, did rise the new virus disease (COVID-19), which spread globally in a short time, leading the World Health Organization to declare a new global pandemic. To contain and mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2, specific public health procedures were implemented in virtually all countries, with a significant impact on society, making it difficult to keep the regular practice of physical activity. It is widely accepted that an active lifestyle contributes to the improvement of general health and preservation of cardiovascular, respiratory, osteo-muscular and immune system capacities. The positive effects of regular physical activity on the immune system have emerged as a pivotal trigger of general health, underlying the beneficial effects of physical activity on multiple physiological systems. Accordingly, recent studies have already pointed out the negative impact of physical inactivity caused by the social isolation imposed by the public sanitary authorities due to COVID-19. Nevertheless, there are still no current narrative reviews evaluating the real impact of COVID-19 on active lifestyle or even discussing the possible beneficial effects of exercise-promoted immune upgrade against the severity or progression of COVID-19. Based on the consensus in the scientific literature, in this review, we discuss how an exercise adherence could adequately improve immune responses in times of the 'COVID-19 Era and beyond'.
Physical activity, mental health and well-being of adults during initial COVID-19 containment strategies: A multi-country cross-sectional analysis.
Journal of science and medicine in sport. 2021;(4):320-326
OBJECTIVES To assess physical activity (PA), mental health and well-being of adults in the United Kingdom (UK), Ireland, New Zealand and Australia during the initial stages of National governments' Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) containment responses. DESIGN Observational, cross-sectional. METHODS An online survey was disseminated to adults (n=8,425; 44.5±14.8y) residing in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia within the first 2-6 weeks of government-mandated COVID-19 restrictions. Main outcome measures included: Stages of Change scale for exercise behaviour change; International Physical Activity Questionnaire (short-form); World Health Organisation-5 Well-being Index; and the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale-9. RESULTS Participants who reported a negative change in exercise behaviour from before initial COVID-19 restrictions to during the initial COVID-19 restrictions demonstrated poorer mental health and well-being compared to those demonstrating either a positive-or no change in their exercise behaviour (p<0.001). Whilst women reported more positive changes in exercise behaviour, young people (18-29y) reported more negative changes (both p<0.001). Individuals who had more positive exercise behaviours reported better mental health and well-being (p<0.001). Although there were no differences in PA between countries, individuals in New Zealand reported better mental health and well-being (p<0.001). CONCLUSION The initial COVID-19 restrictions have differentially impacted upon PA habits of individuals based upon their age and sex, and therefore have important implications for international policy and guideline recommendations. Public health interventions that encourage PA should target specific groups (e.g., men, young adults) who are most vulnerable to the negative effects of physical distancing and/or self-isolation.
Changes in physical activity levels, eating habits and psychological well-being during the Italian COVID-19 pandemic lockdown: Impact of socio-demographic factors on the Florentine academic population.
PloS one. 2021;(5):e0252395
The confinement and lockdown imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have produced restrictions in the lifestyle of Italian citizens with variations in their psychological well-being. The aim of the study was to identify changes and relationship with socio-demographic parameters. An online survey was administered to 1383 subjects (1007 females and 307 males) working in the University of Florence, Italy. Three validated questionnaires were used for the survey: the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire, the Med Diet Score and the Psychological General Well-Being Index-A. All the subjects were asked to complete the questionnaires twice, in order to attain a picture of the habits before and a later time point during confinement. Our results show that work-related physical activity was decreased, along with an increase in sedentary behaviour (from 07:22±03:20 to 08:49±03:41 h:min; p<0.001, ES = 0.38), whereas recreational physical activity was increased (vigorous exercise varied from 568.5 ± 838.6 to 833.7 ± 1263.0 METs; p<0.002, ES = 0.25). Eating habits changed according to the place where meals were eaten, with an increased habit for breakfast and snacks and a slight increase in alcohol consumption. Psychological well-being decreased (Index from 21.4±3.9 to 18.0±5.3; p<0.001, ES = 0.723), especially in terms of vitality and positive thinking. The socio-demographic variables affecting these variations were mostly represented by age, gender and working conditions: young age and self-employment conditions can be considered factors for the changes in daily habits induced by confinement that may affect psychological well-being.
Recent Progress in Applicability of Exercise Immunology and Inflammation Research to Sports Nutrition.
This article focuses on how nutrition may help prevent and/or assist with recovery from the harmful effects of strenuous acute exercise and physical training (decreased immunity, organ injury, inflammation, oxidative stress, and fatigue), with a focus on nutritional supplements. First, the effects of ketogenic diets on metabolism and inflammation are considered. Second, the effects of various supplements on immune function are discussed, including antioxidant defense modulators (vitamin C, sulforaphane, taheebo), and inflammation reducers (colostrum and hyperimmunized milk). Third, how 3-hydroxy-3-methyl butyrate monohydrate (HMB) may offset muscle damage is reviewed. Fourth and finally, the relationship between exercise, nutrition and COVID-19 infection is briefly mentioned. While additional verification of the safety and efficacy of these supplements is still necessary, current evidence suggests that these supplements have potential applications for health promotion and disease prevention among athletes and more diverse populations.
The effects of the measures against COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity among school-aged children and adolescents (6-17 years) in 2020: A protocol for systematic review.
PloS one. 2021;(7):e0255520
BACKGROUND The pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has greatly changed people's daily lives, forcing countries to take actions, such as school shutdown, lockdown, isolation, and social distancing measures. It remains unclear how the closures, cancellations, and restrictions of schools and courses as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic affect the engagement of school-aged children and adolescents in relation to physical activity (PA). METHODS The articles in the databases of EBSCO (including AMED, CINAHL Plus, Health Business, Health Source MEDLINE with Full Text, APA PsycArticles, APA PsycINFO, and SPORTDiscus) published during the period from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020 will be retrieved, and the data in the selected articles are extracted, including research methods, demographics, and key results. Search outcomes were reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) will be used to evaluate research quality. Two reviewers are responsible for completing the three tasks, namely selecting the articles that meet the inclusion criteria, extracting data in the articles selected, and evaluating their research quality. All findings, and especially primary outcomes will be summarized in a table format of findings. The results will provide a high-quality synthesis of current evidence for researchers in this subject area. AIM: The objective of this systematic review is to investigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on PA in children and adolescents aged 6-17 years during 2020. 1). What impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on PA levels in school-aged children and adolescents? 2). Investigating changes in the locations of school-aged children's and adolescents' PA between the pre-COVID-19 period (January 2020) and the COVID-19 period (December 2020). RESULTS We hope that this study will provide government authorities and health professionals with the necessary information in guiding actions and allocating resources, so that the situation of physical inactivity in school-aged children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic can be improved, thereby enhancing their physical health. PROTOCOL REGISTRATION NUMBER This review was submitted and registered under CRD42020225976 in PROSPERO.
Prenatal exposure to gestational diabetes is associated with anxiety and physical inactivity in children during COVID-19.
Clinical obesity. 2021;(1):e12422
BACKGROUND The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with adverse child mental health outcomes and reduced physical activity. Moreover, prenatal exposure to gestational diabetes (GDM) is associated with increased risk for adverse psychological outcomes in children. OBJECTIVES Assess prenatal exposure to GDM on anxiety levels and physical activity in children during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS Sixty-five children age 9 to 15 reported their physical activity and anxiety levels using the 24-hours physical activity recall and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children via phone or video meetings. Prenatal exposure to GDM was obtained from maternal electronic medical records. RESULTS The 38 GDM-exposed children reported significantly higher anxiety levels and were less likely to engage in any vigorous physical activity (VPA) (5% vs 30%) compared to the 27 GDM-unexposed children. Lower levels of physical activity were significantly associated with higher levels of anxiety. Less engagement in VPA explained 75% of the association between GDM exposure and anxiety levels. CONCLUSIONS Engaging in physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic may be beneficial for reducing anxiety, particularly amongst GDM-exposed children.
The impact of sleep, physical activity and sedentary behaviour on symptoms of depression and anxiety before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in a sample of South African participants.
Scientific reports. 2021;(1):24059
During lockdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals have experienced poor sleep quality and sleep regularity, changes in lifestyle behaviours, and heightened depression and anxiety. However, the inter-relationship and relative strength of those behaviours on mental health outcomes is still unknown. We collected data between 12 May and 15 June 2020 from 1048 South African adults (age: 32.76 ± 14.43 years; n = 767 female; n = 473 students) using an online questionnaire. Using structural equation modelling, we investigated how insomnia symptoms, sleep regularity, exercise intensity/frequency and sitting/screen-use (sedentary screen-use) interacted to predict depressive and anxiety-related symptoms before and during lockdown. We also controlled for the effects of sex and student status. Irrespective of lockdown, (a) more severe symptoms of insomnia and greater sedentary screen-use predicted greater symptoms of depression and anxiety and (b) the effects of sedentary screen-use on mental health outcomes were mediated by insomnia. The effects of physical activity on mental health outcomes, however, were only significant during lockdown. Low physical activity predicted greater insomnia symptom severity, which in turn predicted increased depressive and anxiety-related symptoms. Overall, relationships between the study variables and mental health outcomes were amplified during lockdown. The findings highlight the importance of maintaining physical activity and reducing sedentary screen-use to promote better sleep and mental health.
Physical activity, screen exposure and sleep among students during the pandemic of COVID-19.
Scientific reports. 2021;(1):8529
This study aimed to determine the levels of health-related behaviours (physical activity, screen exposure and sleep status) among Chinese students from primary, secondary and high schools during the pandemic of COVID-19, as well as their changes compared with their status before the pandemic. A cross-sectional online survey of 10,933 students was conducted among 10 schools in Guangzhou, China, between 8th and 15th March, 2020. After getting the informed consent from student's caregivers, an online questionnaire was designed and used to obtain time spending on health-related behaviours during the pandemic of COVID-19, as well as the changes compared with 3 months before the pandemic, which was completed by students themselves or their caregivers. Students were stratified by regions (urban, suburban, exurban), gender (boys and girls), and grades (lower grades of primary school, higher grades of primary schools, secondary schools and high schools). Data were expressed as number and percentages and Chi-square test was used to analyse difference between groups. Overall, the response rate of questionnaire was 95.3% (10,416/10,933). The median age of included students was 13.0 (10.0, 16.0) years and 50.1% (n = 5,219) were boys. 41.4%, 53.6% and 53.7% of total students reported less than 15 min per day in light, moderate and vigorous activities and 58.7% (n = 6,113) reported decreased participation in physical activity compared with the time before pandemic. Over 5 h of screen time spending on online study was reported by 44.6% (n = 4,649) of respondents, particular among high school students (81.0%). 76.9% of students reported increased screen time compared with the time before pandemic. Inadequate sleep was identified among 38.5% of students and the proportion was highest in high school students (56.9%). Our study indicated that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the school closure exerted tremendous negative effects on school-aged children's health habits, including less physical activity, longer screen exposure and irregular sleeping pattern.
Effect of Reducing Sedentary Behavior on Blood Pressure (RESET BP): Rationale, design, and methods.
Contemporary clinical trials. 2021;:106428
Sedentary behavior (SB) has recently been recognized as a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease, with new guidelines encouraging adults to 'sit less, move more.' Yet, there are few randomized trials demonstrating that reducing SB improves cardiovascular health. The Effect of Reducing Sedentary Behavior on Blood Pressure (RESET BP) randomized clinical trial addresses this gap by testing the effect of a 3-month SB reduction intervention on resting systolic BP. Secondary outcomes include other BP measures, pulse wave velocity, plasma renin activity and aldosterone, and objectively-measured SB (via thigh-mounted activPAL) and physical activity (via waist-worn GT3X accelerometer). RESET BP has a targeted recruitment of 300 adults with desk jobs, along with elevated, non-medicated BP (systolic BP 120-159 mmHg or diastolic BP 80-99 mmHg) and physical inactivity (self-reported aerobic physical activity below recommended levels). The multi-component intervention promotes 2-4 fewer hours of SB per day by replacing sitting with standing and light-intensity movement breaks. Participants assigned to the intervention condition receive a sit-stand desk attachment, a wrist-worn activity prompter, behavioral counseling every two weeks (alternating in-person and phone), and twice-weekly automated text messages. Herein, we review the study rationale, describe and evaluate recruitment strategies based on enrollment to date, and detail the intervention and assessment protocols. We also document our mid-trial adaptations to participant recruitment, intervention deployment, and outcome assessments due to the intervening COVID-19 pandemic. Our research methods, experiences to date, and COVID-specific accommodations could inform other research studying BP and hypertension or targeting working populations, including those seeking remote methods.