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Article

Nine Months into the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Longitudinal Study Showing Mental Health and Movement Behaviours Are Impaired in UK Students

SHAPE Research Group, School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG11 8NS, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Amelia Guadalupe Grau
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 2930; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062930
Received: 19 February 2021 / Revised: 9 March 2021 / Accepted: 10 March 2021 / Published: 12 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Health during COVID-19)
Initial studies indicated that student mental health was impaired during the early stages of the pandemic and that maintaining/improving physical activity gave some protection from mental illness. However, as the pandemic persists, these data may not reflect current circumstances and may have been confounded by exam stress. Methods: This study used an online survey to assess the changes in, and associations between, mental health and movement behaviours in 255 UK university students from before the COVID-19 pandemic (October 2019) to 9 months following the UK’s first confirmed case (October 2020). Changes in and associations between mental wellbeing, perceived stress, physical activity, and sedentary behaviour were assessed using a mixed model ANOVA; a multiple linear regression model determined the predictive value of variables associated with Δ mental wellbeing. Results: Mental wellbeing and physical activity decreased (45.2 to 42.3 (p < 0.001); 223 to 173 min/week (p < 0.001)), whereas perceived stress and time spent sedentary increased (19.8 to 22.8 (p < 0.001); 66.0 to 71.2 h/week (p = 0.036)). Δ perceived stress, Δ sedentary behaviour and university year accounted for 64.7%, 12.9%, and 10.1% of the variance in Δ mental wellbeing (p < 0.001; p = 0.006; p = 0.035). Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic is having a sustained negative impact on student mental health and movement behaviour. View Full-Text
Keywords: student; mental health; physical activity; sedentary behaviour; COVID-19; pandemic student; mental health; physical activity; sedentary behaviour; COVID-19; pandemic
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MDPI and ACS Style

Savage, M.J.; Hennis, P.J.; Magistro, D.; Donaldson, J.; Healy, L.C.; James, R.M. Nine Months into the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Longitudinal Study Showing Mental Health and Movement Behaviours Are Impaired in UK Students. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 2930. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062930

AMA Style

Savage MJ, Hennis PJ, Magistro D, Donaldson J, Healy LC, James RM. Nine Months into the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Longitudinal Study Showing Mental Health and Movement Behaviours Are Impaired in UK Students. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(6):2930. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062930

Chicago/Turabian Style

Savage, Matthew J., Philip J. Hennis, Daniele Magistro, James Donaldson, Laura C. Healy, and Ruth M. James 2021. "Nine Months into the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Longitudinal Study Showing Mental Health and Movement Behaviours Are Impaired in UK Students" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 6: 2930. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062930

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