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.
Impact of COVID-19 induced lockdown on physical activity and sedentary behavior among university students: A systematic review.
BACKGROUND The COVID-19 pandemic has entailed a significant socio-economic impact on various layers of the population. In many countries, attempts to control viral dissemination involved lockdown measures that limited citizens' overall mobility and professional and leisure activities. OBJECTIVE This systematic review investigates the impact of COVID-19-induced lockdowns on university student physical activity and sedentary behav-ior, as these relate to physical and mental well-being. METHODS Data was collected through PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, SCOPUS, and APA PsycInfo databases until January 2021. RESULTS Seven studies conducted in five different countries (United States, Spain, Italy, China, and United Kingdom) were included in the final review. Overall, most studies reported a significant decrease in mild physical activity (i.e., walking) among undergraduate students but not among graduate students. Consistently, most studies reported a significant increase in sedentary time (i.e., sitting time on weekdays) in undergraduate students but not in graduate students. We observed that students who were more sedentary previous to lockdown, increased or did not change their moderate and/or vigorous physical activity. In contrast, those who were less sedentary previous to lockdown decreased their moderate and/or vigorous physical activity. CONCLUSIONS COVID 19 induced lockdowns appear to have negatively affected walking and sedentary behavior among undergraduate students but not among graduate students. Our results highlight the importance of promoting the World Health Organization recommendations for physical activity and sedentary behavior among university students to improve health outcomes.
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.
Physical Activity and Sedentary Lifestyle in University Students: Changes during Confinement Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
International journal of environmental research and public health. 2020;(18)
Regular physical activity is related to many factors in a university student's environment. The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown have restricted many elements of our environment. The aim of this study was to evaluate students' physical activity and sedentary behaviour at two points in time: before and during the coronavirus lockdown. As a secondary aim, we also wanted to look at changes resulting from other factors (alcohol, tobacco, diet, stages of change, symptoms of anxiety/depression and sociodemographic characteristics). We conducted an observational, cross-sectional, pre-post study with two cut-off points. Two hundred and thirteen students took part in the study. The main dependent variables were physical activity and sitting time, measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form (IPAQ-SF). Parametric and non-parametric tests were used for paired and unpaired data, as well as group-stratified analysis. During lockdown, both weekly physical activity (MD: -159.87; CI: -100.44, -219.31) and weekly sitting time increased (MD: -106.76; CI: -71.85, -141.67). In the group analysis, differences were observed in relation to gender, year of study, BMI, alcohol consumption, tobacco use, symptoms of anxiety/depression, Mediterranean diet, living situation and stage of change. The results showed an increase in both physical activity and sitting time globally and by group.
Secondary transmission of COVID-19 in preschool and school settings in northern Italy after their reopening in September 2020: a population-based study.
Euro surveillance : bulletin Europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin. 2020;(49)
We report epidemiological investigations of transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in 41 classes of 36 schools in Reggio Emilia province, northern Italy, from their reopening on 1 September to 15 October 2020. The overall secondary case attack rate was 3.2%, reaching 6.6% in middle and high schools. More timely isolation and testing of classmates could be effective in reducing virus transmission in this setting.