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.
#StayHomeStayFit: UNIMI's approach to online healthy lifestyle promotion during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Acta bio-medica : Atenei Parmensis. 2020;(3):e2020037
The COVID-19 lockdown imposed radical changes in the lifestyles of the population through isolation measures, with considerable health, social, psychological and economic consequences. Lockdown measures may have exacerbated negative population behaviors regarding exercise and nutrition, with risk of weight gain and obesity, collectively predisposing to increased cardiometabolic risk and mortality. At particular risk of deleterious consequences were patients such as those affected by chronic non communicable diseases (CNCD). The benefits of regular exercise are evident at several levels of CNCD prevention, however, from a public health standpoint, it is important to consider they are also related to improved stress management, work/academic performance, and reduced illegal behavior, isolation and depression. Therefore, during enforced isolation, a primary goal for all individuals is to maintain energy balance. During lockdown, several lifestyle interventions were posted online, with the internet playing a major role in exercise and fitness promotion. Among these one must recognize the ambitious "#StayHomeStayFit" project by the University of Milan, providing useful general information and trustworthy advice regarding nutrition, physical activity, and psychological support, for the general population in a time of need. Data showed a total of 21224 views on various social media and webpages during the reference period, with a mean time of 4' 17'' spent per page/video. Given the health risks associated with population physical inactivity and unhealthy lifestyle, policymakers should evaluate the benefits of projects such as #StayHomeStayFit and consider how to maximize population perception and reach. After all, additional COVID-19 lockdowns might be implemented in the future.