The Impact of Exercise on the Mental Health and Quality of Life of People—the First Edition

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 December 2022) | Viewed by 24285

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Las Vegas School of Public Health, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA
Interests: disparities in health outcomes and healthcare access/health service utilization of vulnerable populations, particularly sexual and gender minorities; disease disparities including HIV, mental health, and chronic diseases; barriers that impede and facilitators that enhance healthy behaviors such as HIV testing, preventive care, and disease prevention; the use of social marketing to promote health; the intersection of sport, physical activity, and health; and using sport to advance health, especially among women
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Physical activity, exercise, and sports participation have been found to improve the health and wellbeing of people who engage in these activities in comparison to those who do not. Physical inactivity is a risk factor of chronic conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and some cancers. Additionally, there is a positive association between physical activity or exercise and improved mental health outcomes. Physical activity/exercise has been found to reduce psychological distress, including depression, stress, anxiety, and poor mental health outcomes, while improving a sense of well-being and quality of life. While the positive effects of physical activity have been studied  in the general population, less is known about the impact of physical activity, exercise, and sports participation on the mental health and quality of life in subsets of the population. A paucity of research has explored the relationship between physical activity/exercise and mental health outcomes among those with chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, cancer, asthma), minority populations (e.g., racial or ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities), and people with disabilities, to name a few specific populations.

This Special Issue aims to publish innovative studies (original investigations and review articles) that explore the relationship between physical activity, exercise, or sports participation and mindfulness interventions on the mental health and quality of life of specific populations. Studies many include the impact of the frequency, duration, or intensity of physical activity on outcomes such as depression, psychological distress, quality of life, or wellbeing. Additionally, studies of specific types of activity (e.g., yoga, hiking, swimming), exercise (e.g., cardiovascular, muscle strengthening), or sport (e.g., team sport, individual sport) and their relationship with mental health and wellbeing are welcome. Studies assessing the determinants of physical activity based on theoretical frameworks, which would inform targeted interventions, will also be eligible.

Dr. Jennifer R. Pharr
Dr. Kavita Batra
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • physical activity
  • exercise
  • sport
  • mental health
  • depression
  • psychological distress
  • suicidality
  • quality of life
  • wellbeing
  • mindfulness

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (10 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

13 pages, 697 KiB  
Article
Association between Sleep Quality and Physical Activity in Physical Education Students in Chile in the Pandemic Context: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Eugenio Merellano-Navarro, Natalia Bustamante-Ara, Javier Russell-Guzmán, Roberto Lagos-Hernández, Natasha Uribe and Andrés Godoy-Cumillaf
Healthcare 2022, 10(10), 1930; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10101930 - 1 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2474
Abstract
Background: Due to the health restrictions put in place to face the pandemic, a decrease in the levels of physical activity and an alteration in the quality of sleep have been observed. One group susceptible to these changes is represented by students [...] Read more.
Background: Due to the health restrictions put in place to face the pandemic, a decrease in the levels of physical activity and an alteration in the quality of sleep have been observed. One group susceptible to these changes is represented by students of physical education pedagogy, who, under normal conditions, present high levels of physical activity. However, the correlation between these variables has not been studied in the context of a pandemic lockdown. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of the quality of sleep and physical activity level as a function of gender and evaluate the association between quality of sleep and physical activity level in physical education pedagogy students during the COVID-19 pandemic considering sociodemographic and health characteristics. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. An online questionnaire was applied to 280 Chilean university students of physical education pedagogy. The survey considered sociodemographic information, healthy habits, and self-reported health and included the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) for physical activity levels and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) for sleep quality. Results: The prevalence of good sleep quality was 20.4%. Furthermore, 52.9% of students had a high level of physical activity. Regression analysis between PSQI global score and age-adjusted physical activity levels indicated that being male and presenting a high level of physical activity favored a better PSQI global score. Conclusions: The prevalence of good sleep quality was low in general and significantly lower in women. Being male and having a high level of physical activity during quarantine benefits good sleep quality, regardless of age. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 642 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Physical Exercise and Media Use on the Physical and Mental Health of People with Obesity: Based on the CGSS 2017 Survey
by Han Wang, Yang Yang, Qingqing You, Yuwei Wang and Ruyue Wang
Healthcare 2022, 10(9), 1740; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10091740 - 11 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2305
Abstract
Obesity has become a common chronic disease in many countries around the world. People with obesity, as a minority, deserve more social attention. Currently, there are few studies on the health level of people with obesity from the perspective of social influencing factors. [...] Read more.
Obesity has become a common chronic disease in many countries around the world. People with obesity, as a minority, deserve more social attention. Currently, there are few studies on the health level of people with obesity from the perspective of social influencing factors. This study examines the effects of the frequency of physical exercise and frequency of use of different media types on the level of physical and mental health in people with obesity. In addition, we explore the mediating effect of physical exercise frequency on the relationship between online media use frequency and the mental health of people with obesity. The participants are 882 patients with obesity from the 2017 China General Social Survey (CGSS). The results show that: (1) Online media use was a possible positive predictor of physical health improvement among people with obesity. (2) Physical exercise was a possible positive predictor of mental health improvement among people with obesity. (3) Physical exercise played an entirely mediating role between online media use and mental health. The study is conducive to understanding the relationship and mediating mechanism between physical exercise, media use, and physical and mental health in people with obesity. The results of this study can provide suggestions for improving the health and well-being of people with obesity. Future research could explore more aspects of physical activity (e.g., the methods for physical exercise) and media use (e.g., media preference or compulsive use). More variables can be included in the study of influencing factors of the physical and mental health of people with obesity. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 527 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Aromatherapy Yoga in Stress Reduction and Sleep Quality Improvement among Chinese Female College Students: A Quasi-Experimental Study
by Yuan Gao, Jiun-Yi Wang, Fengyi Ke, Rui Tao, Cheng Liu and Shang-Yu Yang
Healthcare 2022, 10(9), 1686; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10091686 - 4 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3236
Abstract
College students, particularly female students, often suffer from severe stress and poor sleep. Aromatherapy yoga has become a popular exercise in recent years and may help reduce stress and improve sleep quality, although empirical evidence is limited. We investigated the effectiveness of aromatherapy [...] Read more.
College students, particularly female students, often suffer from severe stress and poor sleep. Aromatherapy yoga has become a popular exercise in recent years and may help reduce stress and improve sleep quality, although empirical evidence is limited. We investigated the effectiveness of aromatherapy yoga intervention in reducing stress and improving sleep quality among Chinese female college students. A total of 89 participants—44 in the experimental group (aromatherapy yoga) and 45 in the control group (yoga)—with an average age of 19.88 ± 1.13 years, were enrolled in this quasi-experimental study. Interventions were performed in the respective groups once a week for 12 weeks, for 90 min each time. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test and Mann–Whitney U test (including effect size) were used to test the differences in stress reduction and sleep quality before and after the intervention. From the findings of the current research, both therapies did not help female students’ stress levels or sleep hygiene significantly. However, aromatherapy yoga has the potential to improve sleep disturbances experienced by female college students. Additionally, there was no difference in the amount of stress or the quality of sleep between the aromatherapy yoga groups and the regular yoga groups before and after therapy. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 367 KiB  
Article
The Association between Active Mobility and Subjective Wellbeing during COVID-19 in MENA Countries
by Behzad Ranjbarnia, Mohammad Javad Kamelifar and Houshmand Masoumi
Healthcare 2022, 10(9), 1603; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10091603 - 23 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1876
Abstract
Objective: To augment the international scientific approach to raising public mental health through active lifestyle among adults, we added the evidence of the association between physical activity and subjective wellbeing in the Middle East and North Africa region by emphasizing the mediator—COVID-19. This [...] Read more.
Objective: To augment the international scientific approach to raising public mental health through active lifestyle among adults, we added the evidence of the association between physical activity and subjective wellbeing in the Middle East and North Africa region by emphasizing the mediator—COVID-19. This study aimed to identify the correlations between active mobility and subjective wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic in a sample from Tabriz, Iran, which has not yet been tackled in previous study. Methods: We finalized an online survey (N = 603) from adults between 5 June and 15 July 2021. This group reported their individual and socio-economic characteristics and their perception features and location (e.g., home, work) during COVID-19. The paper developed three ordinal logistic regression (OLR) models to examine the association between active mobility types such as commute, non-commute, frequency of active travel to parks and services per week, and different subjective wellbeing including: 1- life satisfaction, 2- feeling energetic, and 3- peaceful mind while controlling for socio-economic variables (e.g., age, gender, education, job, and income) and objective commute distance. We also incorporated the most relevant objective (street length, land-use mix, number of intersections, and building and population density) and subjective (perceived distance to different services, perceived walking places, and perceived facilities attractiveness) factors. Results: Positive response relationships between four types of physical activity levels and subjective wellbeing scores were demonstrated in all of the three developed models (with significant levels of 0.05, and 0.1) with appropriate model fits, which confirmed the existing literature. However, these relationships showed different patterns (varied significant levels) for each type of subjective wellbeing. In addition, the factors including street length (p value: 0.004), perceived walkable places (p value: 0.021, 0.068, 0.017, and 0.025) (positively), population density, and perceived distance to shopping malls (p value: 0.076, <0.0001, and 0.059 (negatively) were associated with different indicators of subjective wellbeing. Conclusion: As for the implication of our study, special actions by urban authorities such as increasing mixed-use and creating attractive places will be required to enhance the walkability of the neighborhoods. Moreover, notifying the adults regarding the benefits of physical activity is much more needed. Full article
14 pages, 1165 KiB  
Article
Dose–Response Association between Physical Activity and Health-Related Quality of Life in General Population: A Population-Based Pooled Study
by Hosam Alzahrani
Healthcare 2022, 10(8), 1460; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10081460 - 3 Aug 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1931
Abstract
Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the dose–response association between moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) within the context of a large representative national survey from Wales, in the UK. Methods: Data for adults aged [...] Read more.
Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the dose–response association between moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) within the context of a large representative national survey from Wales, in the UK. Methods: Data for adults aged 16 years and older, living in Wales, UK, and participating in the Welsh Health Survey (WHS; 2011–2015) were employed. HRQoL was assessed using the 36-item short form (SF-36). Participants were categorized into six groups based on weekly minutes (min/week) of MVPA variable: none (no MVPA); very low (>0 to <90); low (≥90 to <150); sufficient (150 to <300); high (≥300 to <390); and very high (≥390). The association between MVPA and HRQoL was explored using multiple linear regression and generalized linear models. Results: Of the 74,578 adults in the survey cohort, 67,770 adults were included in the analyses. The results showed consistent direct curvilinear associations between MVPA and HRQoL for all SF-36 domains (p < 0.001), in both the minimally and maximally adjusted models; with the highest scores observed for those meeting the recommended physical activity guidelines (sufficient, high, and very high). The scores of the overall HRQoL and SF-36 domains demonstrated a consistent positive gradient from the very low level to the sufficient level, suggesting a dose–response relationship. Conclusions: The results showed a direct curvilinear association between MVPA and the overall HRQoL and SF-36 domains, with better scores observed for those meeting the recommended guidelines. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 568 KiB  
Article
Associations between Physical Activity Level and Mental Health in the Spanish Population: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Ángel Denche-Zamorano, Sabina Barrios-Fernandez, Rafael Gómez-Galán, Juan Manuel Franco-García, Jorge Carlos-Vivas, María Mendoza-Muñoz, Jorge Rojo-Ramos, Alejandro Vega-Muñoz, Nicolás Contreras-Barraza, Konstantinos Gianikellis and Laura Muñoz-Bermejo
Healthcare 2022, 10(8), 1442; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10081442 - 1 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2161
Abstract
Physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles appear to be critical factors in developing mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and other diseases in developed societies. This study analysed the associations between physical activity level (PAL) and mental health using the Goldberg General Health Questionnaire [...] Read more.
Physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles appear to be critical factors in developing mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and other diseases in developed societies. This study analysed the associations between physical activity level (PAL) and mental health using the Goldberg General Health Questionnaire (GHQ12) in the Spanish population before the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional design, based on data from the Spanish National Health Survey (ENSE 2017), the last health survey before the pandemic, was carried out with 17,641 participants. Data did not follow a normal distribution, so non-parametric tests were used to analyse intergroup differences, differences at baseline and post hoc, and correlations between variables. Associations were found between the PAL, mental health and all its dimensions. The groups that performed moderate and intense PAL showed lower values in the GHQ12 questionnaire than those who walked or were inactive. Thus, higher PAL was associated with better mental health indicators, including successful coping, self-esteem and stress. This study provides a framework to compare outcomes between the pre- and post-pandemic periods, as the ENSE is performed every five years. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 2104 KiB  
Article
Anxiety Status of Female Chinese Ph.D. Candidates and Its Association with Sports
by Yupeng Mao, Yongsheng Zhu, Changjun Jia, Fengxin Sun, Song Chen and Bing Liu
Healthcare 2022, 10(7), 1203; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10071203 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1257
Abstract
Given that stress leads to more anxiety among female Ph.D. candidates, more attention should be paid to their healthy lifestyle options. Several studies have shown that there is a negative correlation between sports and anxiety. This study took female Chinese Ph.D. candidates’ anxiety [...] Read more.
Given that stress leads to more anxiety among female Ph.D. candidates, more attention should be paid to their healthy lifestyle options. Several studies have shown that there is a negative correlation between sports and anxiety. This study took female Chinese Ph.D. candidates’ anxiety and sports participation as the research objects. A questionnaire entitled “Investigation on anxiety and sports of Ph.D. candidates” was used to explore the characteristics of anxiety in female Chinese Ph.D. candidates and to investigate the association between anxiety and sports in female Chinese Ph.D. candidates. A total of 588 Ph.D. candidates participated in the questionnaire survey. Some 21 invalid questionnaires were eliminated through the standard deviation of the items of the scale, and 567 valid questionnaires were finally obtained. The questionnaire survey was conducted online from 26 February to 15 March 2022, using the convenience sampling method. The results show that the anxiety level of female Chinese Ph.D. candidates is higher than that of male Ph.D. candidates and that the anxiety level of female Ph.D. candidates in a non-sports discipline is the highest. Weekly sports participation significantly lowers female Ph.D. candidates’ anxiety level (p < 0.01). Physical fatigue caused by study and work hinders female Ph.D. candidates from participating in sports (p < 0.05). Some female Chinese Ph.D. candidates in a negative emotional state are unwilling to participate in sports (p < 0.01). Future research should formulate different types of sports intervention programs suitable for alleviating the anxiety of female Ph.D. candidates. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 310 KiB  
Article
Physical Activity and Prevalence of Depression and Antidepressants in the Spanish Population
by Carmen Galán-Arroyo, Damián Pereira-Payo, Jorge Rojo-Ramos, Miguel A. Hernández-Mocholí, Eugenio Merellano-Navarro, Jorge Pérez-Gómez, Ángel Denche-Zamorano and Jose Carmelo Adsuar
Healthcare 2022, 10(2), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020363 - 12 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3068
Abstract
Introduction: Depression is a mental disorder that affects more than 250 million people in the world, limiting their functional capacities. The work of public health policies is aimed at reducing its prevalence as well as its pharmaceutical cost. Physical activity (PA) programs are [...] Read more.
Introduction: Depression is a mental disorder that affects more than 250 million people in the world, limiting their functional capacities. The work of public health policies is aimed at reducing its prevalence as well as its pharmaceutical cost. Physical activity (PA) programs are interventions with a high potential for effectiveness. Objectives: To establish the relationships between physical activity and the prevalence of depression and antidepressant intake in the Spanish population. Design: We performed a correlational study that was based on data from the European Health Survey Spain 2020 with 20,287 participants, aged 18–84 years, living in Spain. Results: Dependency relationships were found between the prevalence of depression, and: the frequency of PA, the number of days of PA per week, and the number of days of muscle strengthening in the population, in both sexes, and in all age groups (p < 0.001). Dependency relationships were found between the three PA variables and the prevalence of taking antidepressants (p < 0.001). An elevated prevalence of depression and antidepressant taking were found in the inactive groups compared to those who performed PA (p < 0.05). Conclusions: There is an inverse relationship between physical activity and the probability of suffering from depression and the intake of antidepressants. Performing PA 3–4 days/week, including 1–2 days of strength work, could be the best proposal to reduce the prevalence of depression in the Spanish population. Full article
10 pages, 426 KiB  
Article
Physical Activity Participation and Psychological Wellbeing in University Office Workers in China and Australia: An Online Survey
by Qian Sun, Meiling Qi, Wendy Moyle, Cindy Jones, Benjamin Weeks, Zihui Xie and Ping Li
Healthcare 2021, 9(12), 1618; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9121618 - 23 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1742
Abstract
Background and purpose: Physical inactivity and prolonged sitting have associations with adverse health. University office workers are at a high risk of psychological and pain issues. This study aimed to explore the differences in sitting time, levels of physical activity participation, stress, depression, [...] Read more.
Background and purpose: Physical inactivity and prolonged sitting have associations with adverse health. University office workers are at a high risk of psychological and pain issues. This study aimed to explore the differences in sitting time, levels of physical activity participation, stress, depression, anxiety, and pain among university office workers in China and Australia. Methods: Online surveys were distributed to university office workers over 55 years at two universities in China and Australia, respectively. Results: A total of 185 participants completed the online survey (119 in China and 66 in Australia). Significant differences were found in sitting time during workdays between the two countries (p < 0.05) with a longer sitting time in the Australian respondents (7.5 h/day) than those in China (4.6 h/day). Additionally, there were also significant differences in terms of levels of depression and pain symptoms within the two countries (p < 0.05). The Australian respondents reported high levels of depression and pain (M = 7.38, SD = 5.86 and M = 3.65, SD = 2.21, respectively) than those in China (M = 5.71, SD = 4.87 and M = 1.89, SD = 1.89, respectively). The gender, education level, and sitting time of participants were found to be associated with pain scores (p < 0.05). A significant association between marital status and pain scores was found among the Australian respondents (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Future studies with a larger population are needed to validate the results and to further explore the association between physical activity participation and psychological wellbeing among university office workers. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

9 pages, 1178 KiB  
Article
Brain Activity in the Prefrontal Cortex during Cognitive Tasks and Dual Tasks in Community-Dwelling Elderly People with Pre-Frailty: A Pilot Study for Early Detection of Cognitive Decline
by Kohei Maruya, Tomoyuki Arai and Hiroaki Fujita
Healthcare 2021, 9(10), 1250; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9101250 - 23 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2235
Abstract
We aimed to detect brain abnormalities during cognitive and motor tasks in older individuals with pre-frailty, as this could prevent dementia. Sixty elderly participants (mean age: 76.3 years; 27 healthy and 33 with pre-frailty) were included, and their motor function, cognitive function, and [...] Read more.
We aimed to detect brain abnormalities during cognitive and motor tasks in older individuals with pre-frailty, as this could prevent dementia. Sixty elderly participants (mean age: 76.3 years; 27 healthy and 33 with pre-frailty) were included, and their motor function, cognitive function, and dual-task abilities (gait with calculation and while carrying a ball) were evaluated. Total hemoglobin (t-Hb) was measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) during tasks and resting periods. The pre-frailty group had a slightly lower gait speed than the healthy group, but there was no significant difference in cognitive function. In the pre-frailty group, the t-Hb values during the normal gait and cognitive tasks were higher than the resting value in the right prefrontal cortex, while in the healthy group, only the word frequency task (WFT) was higher. Furthermore, in the WFT, the t-Hb values were significantly lower in the pre-frailty group than in the healthy group. The results showed that pre-frail subjects had lower brain activation during the WFT in the right prefrontal cortex and excessive activity during walking, even without a noticeable cognitive decline. The differences in cerebral blood flow under the pre-frailty conditions may be a clue to detecting cognitive decline earlier. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop