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Physical Activity, Mental Health and Wellbeing of Adults within and during the Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions, in the United Kingdom and New Zealand

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School of Sport, Health and Community, University of Winchester, Winchester SO22 4NR, UK
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School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition, Massey University, Auckland 0745, New Zealand
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Southampton Clinical Trials Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
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Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA
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School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland 4558, Australia
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Sunshine Coast Health Institute, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, Queensland 4575, Australia
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School of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland 4558, Australia
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Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford OX3 0BP, UK
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Faculty of Health, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 4800, New Zealand
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Department of Tourism, Sport and Society, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7647, New Zealand
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School of Sport and Exercise, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester GL2 9HW, UK
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Applied Sports, Technology, Exercise and Medicine Research Centre, Swansea University, Swansea SA1 8EN, UK
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Physical Activity, Health and Rehabilitation Thematic Research Group, School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth PO1 2UP, UK
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School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland, Queensland 4067, Australia
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School of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1792; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031792
Received: 14 January 2022 / Revised: 1 February 2022 / Accepted: 2 February 2022 / Published: 4 February 2022
Physical activity (PA) participation was substantially reduced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this study was to assess the association between PA, mental health, and wellbeing during and following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the United Kingdom (UK) and New Zealand (NZ). In this study, 3363 adults completed online surveys within 2–6 weeks of initial COVID-19 restrictions (April/May 2020) and once restrictions to human movement had been eased. Outcome measures included the International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short-Form, Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale-9 (mental health) and World Health Organisation-5 Wellbeing Index. There were no differences in PA, mental health or wellbeing between timepoints (p > 0.05). Individuals engaging in moderate or high volume of PA had significantly better mental health (−1.1 and −1.7 units, respectively) and wellbeing (11.4 and 18.6 units, respectively) than individuals who engaged in low PA (p < 0.001). Mental health was better once COVID-19 restrictions were eased (p < 0.001). NZ had better mental health and wellbeing than the UK (p < 0.001). Participation in moderate-to-high volumes of PA was associated with better mental health and wellbeing, both during and following periods of COVID-19 containment, compared to participation in low volumes of PA. Where applicable, during the current or future pandemic(s), moderate-to-high volumes of PA should be encouraged. View Full-Text
Keywords: Coronavirus disease; pandemic; lifestyle behaviour change; exercise; depression; lockdown Coronavirus disease; pandemic; lifestyle behaviour change; exercise; depression; lockdown
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MDPI and ACS Style

Faulkner, J.; O’Brien, W.J.; Stuart, B.; Stoner, L.; Batten, J.; Wadsworth, D.; Askew, C.D.; Badenhorst, C.E.; Byrd, E.; Draper, N.; Elliot, C.; Fryer, S.; Hamlin, M.J.; Jakeman, J.R.; Mackintosh, K.A.; McNarry, M.A.; Mitchelmore, A.; Ryan-Stewart, H.; Saynor, Z.; Schaumberg, M.A.; Spiegelhalter, E.; Stone, K.; Lambrick, D. Physical Activity, Mental Health and Wellbeing of Adults within and during the Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions, in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 1792. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031792

AMA Style

Faulkner J, O’Brien WJ, Stuart B, Stoner L, Batten J, Wadsworth D, Askew CD, Badenhorst CE, Byrd E, Draper N, Elliot C, Fryer S, Hamlin MJ, Jakeman JR, Mackintosh KA, McNarry MA, Mitchelmore A, Ryan-Stewart H, Saynor Z, Schaumberg MA, Spiegelhalter E, Stone K, Lambrick D. Physical Activity, Mental Health and Wellbeing of Adults within and during the Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions, in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(3):1792. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031792

Chicago/Turabian Style

Faulkner, James, Wendy J. O’Brien, Beth Stuart, Lee Stoner, John Batten, Daniel Wadsworth, Christopher D. Askew, Claire E. Badenhorst, Erin Byrd, Nick Draper, Catherine Elliot, Simon Fryer, Michael J. Hamlin, John R. Jakeman, Kelly A. Mackintosh, Melitta A. McNarry, Andrew Mitchelmore, Helen Ryan-Stewart, Zoe Saynor, Mia A. Schaumberg, Emily Spiegelhalter, Keeron Stone, and Danielle Lambrick. 2022. "Physical Activity, Mental Health and Wellbeing of Adults within and during the Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions, in the United Kingdom and New Zealand" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 3: 1792. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031792

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