Special Issue "Physical Activity, Physical and Psychological Health"

A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Psychology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Armando Cocca
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Innsbruck (AT), 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Interests: exercise; physical, psychological, and social health; youth; school
Dr. Andrew Soundy
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
Interests: psychosocial adaptation; hope; mental well-being; narrative; storytelling; behavioural interventions
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Health promotion and enhancement are actions with an impact not only on the single individual, but also on communities and, more generally, our society. Owing to that, delving into the physical and psychological domains of health and finding proper strategies to prevent the onset (or reduce the effects) of diseases that are currently spread worldwide should represent a primary objective of the scientific community. Regarding the physical domain, obesity and overweight rates, health-related physical fitness, and a sedentary lifestyle are just some of the factors raising concern among health professionals; in the psychological domain, variables such as chronic stress, anxiety, psychological wellbeing, and self-perceptions (self-esteem, self-concept, body image, etc.)  are considered essential for the determination of one’s health condition. Physical activity (PA) is considered one of the most powerful behaviour-based tools in this field, as its effect on the body and the mind is well known and thoroughly demonstrated. PA has been linked with better body composition and physical growth, enhanced fitness, and more favourable metabolic parameters. Furthermore, it helps in attenuating mental issues at the same time, as it improves one’s mood, emotional intelligence, and general mental state. The aim of this Special Issue is to present the latest PA-based protocols and programs and their effect on one or more physical and psychological variables of health. We hope that authors’ contributions to this issue will help health practitioners from different communities and areas better respond to the needs of diverse populations.

Dr. Andrew Soundy
Dr. Armando Cocca
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • exercise
  • physical activity levels
  • intervention programs
  • health strategies
  • school
  • community
  • sports
  • youth
  • adults
  • elderly
  • chronic diseases
  • fitness
  • body composition
  • metabolism and physiology
  • self-assessment
  • depression
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • mental state
  • cognitive development

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Relationship between Objectively and Subjectively Measured Physical Activity in Adolescents during and after COVID-19 Restrictions
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs11120177 - 11 Dec 2021
Viewed by 562
Abstract
Background: Studying the relationship between subjectively and objectively measured physical activity (PA) can provide viable information on youths’ behaviors. However, the restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic, which reduced children’s possibilities to be active, may negatively affect it. The aim of this study was [...] Read more.
Background: Studying the relationship between subjectively and objectively measured physical activity (PA) can provide viable information on youths’ behaviors. However, the restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic, which reduced children’s possibilities to be active, may negatively affect it. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between subjectively and objectively measured PA levels (light, moderate, vigorous, and moderate-to-vigorous) during COVID-19-based restrictions and after they were lifted, and to determine whether such relationships changed in these two periods. Methods: A total of 26 adolescents (58% girls; mean age = 12.4 ± 0.5) wore accelerometers during public restrictions and after they were removed. Participants also completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire during the same periods. Results: High significant correlations were found at all levels of PA (r = 0.767–0.968) in both time periods, except for moderate PA during restrictions. Comparing the two periods, significantly higher correlations were found for moderate PA (p < 0.001) and moderate-to-vigorous PA (p = 0.003) after restrictions were lifted. Conclusions: In this highly active cohort of adolescents, results emphasize the potential threat of lockdown conditions for youths’ ability to accurately perceive their behaviors, with possible detrimental consequences on the short- and long-term health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical and Psychological Health)
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Article
Validity and Reliability of the Baby and Child Eating Behavior Questionnaire, Toddler Version (BEBQ-Mex and CEBQ-T-Mex) in a Low Sociodemographic Sample Recruited in a Mexican Hospital
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs11120168 - 02 Dec 2021
Viewed by 739
Abstract
The objective of this study was to validate and measure the internal reliability of the Baby and Child Eating Behavior Questionnaires for Toddlers (BEBQ-Mex and CEBQ-T-Mex), that evaluate appetitive trait (ATs). Mothers recruited from a public hospital in Guadalajara, Mexico, completed the BEBQ-Mex [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to validate and measure the internal reliability of the Baby and Child Eating Behavior Questionnaires for Toddlers (BEBQ-Mex and CEBQ-T-Mex), that evaluate appetitive trait (ATs). Mothers recruited from a public hospital in Guadalajara, Mexico, completed the BEBQ-Mex or CEBQ-T-Mex along with information on sociodemographic characteristics. Internal reliability of the BEBQ-Mex was sufficient for Food Responsiveness (FR) (Cronbach α = 0.82), while Enjoyment of Food (EF) and Satiety Responsiveness (SR) showed poor reliability (α = 0.56) and Slowness in Eating (SE) had unacceptable reliability (a = 0.36). All reliability values for the CEBQ-T-Mex were acceptable (>0.70), except for SE (α = 0.64). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) revealed an adequate model fit for the BEBQ-Mex, except the SE subscale. CFA for the CEBQ-T-Mex confirmed the six-factor structure. Mothers of a low sociodemographic background were unable to recognize their infants’ ATs; the BEBQ-Mex partly met the criteria for validity and reliability. Mothers from similar sociodemographic characteristics were more able to recognize the ATs of their toddlers than their infants; the CEBQ-T-Mex was found to be a valid and reliable tool. Findings support the need to help mothers’ ability to recognize their infants’ ATs, which have been previously associated with weight and growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical and Psychological Health)
Article
The Role of Physical Activity in the Relationship between Satisfaction with Life and Health-Related Quality of Life in School-Age Adolescents
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs11090121 - 03 Sep 2021
Viewed by 839
Abstract
(1) Background: Adolescence is a critical stage in the development of healthy habits. In this regard, physical activity has emerged as a useful tool to improve satisfaction with life and health-related quality of life in adolescents. Therefore, the aim of the present study [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Adolescence is a critical stage in the development of healthy habits. In this regard, physical activity has emerged as a useful tool to improve satisfaction with life and health-related quality of life in adolescents. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine the mediating role of physical activity in the relationship between satisfaction with life and health-related quality of life in adolescent boys and girls. Also, we aimed to investigate the differences between sexes in the HRQoL, physical activity level, and satisfaction with life. (2) Methods: A total of 297 adolescents, ranging in age from 11 to 12 years (11.46 ± 1.63), participated in this cross-sectional study. The Satisfaction with life scale, Physical activity Questionnaire for Adolescents and the KIDSCREEN-10 questionnaires were employed. (3) Results: The estimated indirect effect showed that physical activity level was a mediator of the positive effect of satisfaction with life on health-related quality of life (β = 0.105, 95% CI = 0.031; 0.202). However, the index of moderated mediation showed that sex is not a significant moderator of the mediating role of physical activity in the relationship between satisfaction with life and HRQoL (β = −0.033, 95% CI = −0.023, 0.136). Furthermore, significant differences in satisfaction with life were found, with girls manifesting lower values (p-value = 0.026). (4) Conclusion: This study shows the importance of physical activity during adolescence and the association of this behavior with the health-related quality of life of adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical and Psychological Health)
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Article
Body Image Quality of Life Related to Light Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior among Young Adults with Overweight/Obesity
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs11080111 - 12 Aug 2021
Viewed by 787
Abstract
Sedentary behaviors, low levels of physical activity (PA), and low body image quality of life have been identified during college years and associated with poor health outcomes. Public health efforts have recently focused on decreasing sedentary time by increasing light physical activity, both [...] Read more.
Sedentary behaviors, low levels of physical activity (PA), and low body image quality of life have been identified during college years and associated with poor health outcomes. Public health efforts have recently focused on decreasing sedentary time by increasing light physical activity, both of which have been associated with body image quality of life, though mainly through self-report. In this cross-sectional study, we examined objective actigraphy and survey data from 404 of 459 young adults with overweight and obesity (mean age 23.3 ± 4.4 years, 78.4% female, 55.4% white). PA was measured using an accelerometer worn during waking hours for >10 h/day for four days. Body image quality of life was assessed using the Body Image Quality of Life Inventory Scale. Body image was positively correlated with light PA (r = 0.15) and inversely correlated with BMI (Pearson’s r = −0.20) and sedentary time (r = −0.10), but not moderate PA, vigorous PA, or MVPA. Light PA and sedentary time were significantly inversely correlated (r = −0.38). When controlling for covariates, higher body image quality of life was significantly associated with higher levels of light PA (β = 0.39; p < 0.01) and lower sedentary time (β = −0.39; p = 0.02). Participants with lower body image quality of life enrolled in weight loss interventions may benefit from prescriptions of light PA in conjunction with decreasing sedentary behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical and Psychological Health)
Article
Effects of General Fatigue Induced by Exhaustive Exercise on Posture and Gait Stability of Healthy Young Men
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs11050072 - 08 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 775
Abstract
Bipedal walking is a composite task requiring integration of many control circuitries in the brain and spinal cord. The present study was carried out to verify whether an increase in blood lactate, such as that associated with a high intensity exercise, is able [...] Read more.
Bipedal walking is a composite task requiring integration of many control circuitries in the brain and spinal cord. The present study was carried out to verify whether an increase in blood lactate, such as that associated with a high intensity exercise, is able to significantly modify the qualitative and/or quantitative aspects of human walking. Eighteen healthy physically male participants, aged between 20 and 24 years (M = 21.8, SD = 1.22), were recruited for the study. For this purpose, the experimental protocol included the measure of blood lactate levels with the aim of assessing possible relations between lactate blood values and different aspect of walking after an exhaustive exercise. An exhaustive exercise was associated with a strong increase of blood lactate levels and produced a significant worsening in the ability to maintain the bipodalic upright posture as well as the fluidity of walking. Our results suggest that exhausting bouts impose greater challenges on postural control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical and Psychological Health)
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Article
Awareness and Behaviors Regarding COVID-19 among Albanian Undergraduates
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs11040045 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1139
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to the adoption of restriction measures that have had notable consequences on the health and wellbeing of individuals. This survey was carried out on a sample of 905 Albanian undergraduates to assess their knowledge about [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to the adoption of restriction measures that have had notable consequences on the health and wellbeing of individuals. This survey was carried out on a sample of 905 Albanian undergraduates to assess their knowledge about COVID-19 and their health-related behaviors and communication changes during lockdown. The students were invited to complete a pre-validated questionnaire during lessons. The results show that the majority of the surveyed students were able to answer correctly about the main epidemiological features of the disease. The level of knowledge was proven to be proportional to the students’ education level (enrollment year and age). No considerable relationship emerged with respect to diet or smoking. On the other hand, a relevant portion of the sample (37.6%) declared decreased physical activity (PA). Finally, a notable increase in the intensity and frequency of communication with their peers and with their parents was declared by 34.7% and 50.8% of the sample, respectively. Lifestyle variables were found to be mutually related, as were communication outcomes. The participants showed a satisfactory awareness regarding the COVID-19 epidemic. However, the registered reduction in PA may represent a public health issue and should be addressed with adequate policies. The use of electronic media seems to have increased communication habits in this population group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical and Psychological Health)
Article
Perseverative Cognition and Snack Choice: An Online Pilot Investigation
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs11030033 - 11 Mar 2021
Viewed by 954
Abstract
Perseverative cognition (PC), consisting of worry and rumination, has been consistently linked to a variety of poorer health outcomes, namely via the worsening of stress-induced health risk behaviours. However, research into PC and unhealthy food choice, a key health behaviour, still remains relatively [...] Read more.
Perseverative cognition (PC), consisting of worry and rumination, has been consistently linked to a variety of poorer health outcomes, namely via the worsening of stress-induced health risk behaviours. However, research into PC and unhealthy food choice, a key health behaviour, still remains relatively unexplored. In the current pilot investigation, 284 participants were recruited to take part in an online food choice paradigm before completing the Perseverative Thinking Questionnaire (PTQ) and the Brief State Rumination Inventory (BSRI). As a reduced availability of unhealthy snacks has been shown to improve snack choice, participants were randomly allocated to either an even condition (a 3:3 ratio of ≤99 kcal and ≥199 kcal snacks) or an uneven condition (a 4:2 ratio in favour of ≤99 kcal snacks). It was hypothesized that higher levels of PC may predict greater instances of poorer snack choices across, or even within, this paradigm. Despite an increase availability of lower calorie snacks leading to a healthier snack choice, both state and trait PC measures did not significantly influence snack choice irrespective of this varying availability. Although, marginal trends were found for higher state PC and higher calorie crisp selections. The current pilot therefore adds to the growing literature advocating for the use of behavioural economic tactics to engender healthier food choices, yet further work is needed to unpick the mediating role of PC (and its components) in snack consumption paradigms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical and Psychological Health)
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Review

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Review
An Integrative Review Considering the Impact of Storytelling and Sharing Interventions in Stroke
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs11060088 - 16 Jun 2021
Viewed by 814
Abstract
Background: Review-based research is needed which can establish the psychosocial outcomes and mechanisms of “storytelling and sharing” interventions for people with stroke. This information will act to inform the value and development of such interventions. Methods: An integrative review was conducted in three [...] Read more.
Background: Review-based research is needed which can establish the psychosocial outcomes and mechanisms of “storytelling and sharing” interventions for people with stroke. This information will act to inform the value and development of such interventions. Methods: An integrative review was conducted in three stages: (a) a systematic search strategy was undertaken to focus on articles between 2009 until January 2020 to locate articles the considered storytelling and sharing interventions for people diagnosed with stroke; (b) critical appraisal was undertaken to assess study quality; and (c) synthesis within three stages including data reduction, data display and conclusion. Results: Fourteen articles (including 727 participants) were identified that met the eligibility criteria. Five themes were identified that represented the outcome and mechanisms that appeared to be associated with a stroke intervention. These included introducing the concept of hope and learning to be positive, the enhanced ability to cope, the impact of loneliness and social interaction, impact on emotions, depression and related emotions such as fear. Conclusions: Storytelling interventions appear to impact loneliness, introduce positivity and hope and enable coping through knowledge exchange. The main mechanisms which appeared to influence these outcomes were social comparisons and social control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical and Psychological Health)
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Review
The Positive Impact and Associated Mechanisms of Physical Activity on Mental Health in Underprivileged Children and Adolescents: An Integrative Review
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10110171 - 08 Nov 2020
Viewed by 1593
Abstract
(1) Background: Review-based studies are required to consider the different designs and data that describe the association between physical activity and mental health for underprivileged children and adolescents. There is a particular need to identify mechanisms which could explain the association, and factors [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Review-based studies are required to consider the different designs and data that describe the association between physical activity and mental health for underprivileged children and adolescents. There is a particular need to identify mechanisms which could explain the association, and factors which influence the association in this population group. (2) Methods: An integrative review with a systematic search was conducted in three stages: (i) a systematic literature search on four databases from inception until May 2020. Studies were eligible if they examined underprivileged children, involved moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and had a focus on at least one outcome measure related to mental health. (ii) Two critical appraisal tools were used to assess quality across different study designs. (iii) Synthesis was undertaken in four stages, examining social, internal and physical outcomes and mechanisms. (3) Results: A total of 16 studies were included (2 qualitative; 12 quantitative and 2 mixed methods). Fifteen (15/16; 93.8%) showed an association between MVPA and a significant improvement in at least one mental health outcome. The most studied outcomes included: internal aspects (n = 14), significant effects were identified in 12/14 studies; social aspects (n = 6), significant effects were identified across all studies and finally physical aspects (n = 5), significant effects were found in 3/5 studies. Autonomy support was identified as a mechanism to explain the change, whilst age and gender influenced the strength of the association. (4) Conclusions: The findings provide confirmation of the link between MVPA and the improved mental health and wellbeing of disadvantaged children and adolescents. Future research must consider the long-term effect through longitudinal studies, along with determining whether any specific types of PA are more impactful than others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical and Psychological Health)
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