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Effects of COVID-19 on Exercise and Health

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Exercise and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 May 2023) | Viewed by 31828

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 influences all domains of human activity since 2020, including physical activity and health. In addition to the direct impact of COVID-19 on physical and mental health outcomes, changes in physical activity may also further influence this negative impact. So far, preliminary studies have shown both quantitative and qualitative changes in physical activity. It has been observed that physical activity decreases during this period, whereas there is a swift from moderate-to-high intensity physical activity to lower intensity physical activity such as walking.

“COVID-19 on Exercise and Health” focuses on the current state of knowledge on the links among exercise, health, and COVID-19. Original research papers, systematic and narrative reviews, and case reports are welcome to this issue. Other manuscript types accepted include methodological papers, position papers, brief reports, and commentaries. Manuscripts from different disciplines including medicine, nutrition, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology, and sports science are expected to provide insights on the way exercise and health aspects change during COVID-19.

Dr. Pantelis T. Nikolaidis
Guest Editor

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. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 2500 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

  • activities of daily living
  • aerobic capacity
  • age groups
  • body composition
  • elderly
  • flexibility
  • muscle strength
  • nutrition
  • physical activity
  • physical fitness
  • psychology
  • quarantine
  • sedentarism
  • sex
  • weight

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 375 KiB  
Article
The Impact of COVID-19 on Physical (In)Activity Behavior in 10 Arab Countries
by Haleama Al Sabbah, Zainab Taha, Radwan Qasrawi, Enas A. Assaf, Leila Cheikh Ismail, Ayesha S. Al Dhaheri, Maha Hoteit, Ayoub Al-Jawaldeh, Reema Tayyem, Hiba Bawadi, Majid AlKhalaf, Khlood Bookari, Iman Kamel, Somaia Dashti, Sabika Allehdan, Tariq A. Alalwan, Fadwa Hammouh, Mostafa I. Waly, Diala Abu Al-Halawa, Rania Mansour, Allam Abu Farha and The Regional Corona Cooking Survey Groupadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(17), 10832; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191710832 - 31 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2505
Abstract
Insufficient physical activity is considered a strong risk factor associated with non-communicable diseases. This study aimed to assess the impact of COVID-19 on physical (in)activity behavior in 10 Arab countries before and during the lockdown. A cross-sectional study using a validated online survey [...] Read more.
Insufficient physical activity is considered a strong risk factor associated with non-communicable diseases. This study aimed to assess the impact of COVID-19 on physical (in)activity behavior in 10 Arab countries before and during the lockdown. A cross-sectional study using a validated online survey was launched originally in 38 different countries. The Eastern Mediterranean regional data related to the 10 Arabic countries that participated in the survey were selected for analysis in this study. A total of 12,433 participants were included in this analysis. The mean age of the participants was 30.3 (SD, 11.7) years. Descriptive and regression analyses were conducted to examine the associations between physical activity levels and the participants’ sociodemographic characteristics, watching TV, screen time, and computer usage. Physical activity levels decreased significantly during the lockdown. Participants’ country of origin, gender, and education were associated with physical activity before and during the lockdown (p < 0.050). Older age, watching TV, and using computers had a negative effect on physical activity before and during the lockdown (p < 0.050). Strategies to improve physical activity and minimize sedentary behavior should be implemented, as well as to reduce unhealthy levels of inactive time, especially during times of crisis. Further research on the influence of a lack of physical activity on overall health status, as well as on the COVID-19 disease effect is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19 on Exercise and Health)
13 pages, 1190 KiB  
Article
A Path Model of the Relationship between Mood, Exercise Behavior, Coping, and Mental Health among Malaysians during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Jing Mun Yew, Yee Cheng Kueh, Bachok Norsa’adah, Foo Weng Leong, Heen Yeong Tang and Garry Kuan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(10), 5939; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19105939 - 13 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2310
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the mood, physical activity, coping, and mental health of Malaysians during the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional study was conducted via an online survey, with self-administered questionnaires. The respondents were recruited using snowball [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the mood, physical activity, coping, and mental health of Malaysians during the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional study was conducted via an online survey, with self-administered questionnaires. The respondents were recruited using snowball sampling techniques. The Brunel Mood Scale (BRUMS), the Exercise Regulations in Exercise-3 (BREQ-3), the Brief Coping Orientation of Problem Experienced (Brief COPE), and the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21) were used. A path analysis was conducted on the data. A total of 842 people participated in the survey. The mean age of participants was 22 years (interquartile range = 6) and 24.0% were male. The final path model fitted the data well, with a comparative fit index of 0.998, a Tucker–Lewis index of 0.988, a standardized root mean square residual of 0.001, and a root mean square error of approximation of 0.072. In this study, there were significant path relationships between mood, exercise behavior, coping, and mental health. Additionally, it was demonstrated that the variables of mood, exercise behavior, and coping have both direct and indirect effects on mental health. The results also suggested that utilizing appropriate coping skills, exercise behavior, and positive mood can directly lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress, and that appropriate coping skills and positive mood can directly affect exercise behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19 on Exercise and Health)
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11 pages, 1291 KiB  
Article
Effect of the COVID-19 Confinement Period on Selected Neuromuscular Performance Indicators in Young Male Soccer Players: Can the Maturation Process Counter the Negative Effect of Detraining?
by Nikolaos D. Asimakidis, Stylianos S. Vasileiou, Athanasios A. Dalamitros, Pantelis T. Nikolaidis and Vasiliki Manou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 4935; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19094935 - 19 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1913
Abstract
The COVID-19 outbreak has led to an unprecedented long-term cessation in athletes’ training routines. This study examined the effect of a 32-week detraining period, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, on selected neuromuscular performance indicators in 29 young male soccer players, assessed close [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 outbreak has led to an unprecedented long-term cessation in athletes’ training routines. This study examined the effect of a 32-week detraining period, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, on selected neuromuscular performance indicators in 29 young male soccer players, assessed close to their adolescent growth spurt (age = 13.0 ± 0.8 years). Change of direction ability of both lower limbs (COD), linear sprint times (10 and 20 m), and vertical jump height (CMJ) was evaluated twice, once before the first national lockdown, and one week after the return to training activities. Paired-sample t-tests detected significant improvements in all three testing variables (COD: 2.82 ± 0.23 vs. 2.66 ± 0.22 s, p ≤ 0.005, 0.001, effect size [ES] = 0.91 to 1.05 for the right and left limb, respectively; 10 m: 2.12 ± 0.16 vs. 1.96 ± 0.15 s, p ≤ 0.001, effect size [ES] = 1.67, 20 m: 3.56 ± 0.3 vs. 3.42 ± 0.27 s, p ≤ 0.001, effect size [ES] = 1.02 and CMJ: 23.3 ± 7.5 vs. 24.5 ± 7.6 cm, p = 0.033, ES = 0.42). These results indicate that maturation-related adaptations can lead to enhanced change of direction, linear sprint, and vertical jump performance, even in the absence of exposure to any level of exercise. Soccer coaches and practitioners working with youth athletes should consider the stage of maturation when planning and implementing training programs aiming to enhance neuromuscular performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19 on Exercise and Health)
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13 pages, 361 KiB  
Article
Physical Activity, Mental Health and Wellbeing during the First COVID-19 Containment in New Zealand: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Wendy J. O’Brien, Claire E. Badenhorst, Nick Draper, Arindam Basu, Catherine A. Elliot, Michael J. Hamlin, John Batten, Danielle Lambrick and James Faulkner
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 12036; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212036 - 16 Nov 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3188
Abstract
Strategies implemented worldwide to contain COVID-19 outbreaks varied in severity across different countries, and established a new normal for work and school life (i.e., from home) for many people, reducing opportunities for physical activity. Positive relationships of physical activity with both mental and [...] Read more.
Strategies implemented worldwide to contain COVID-19 outbreaks varied in severity across different countries, and established a new normal for work and school life (i.e., from home) for many people, reducing opportunities for physical activity. Positive relationships of physical activity with both mental and physical health are well recognised, and therefore the aim was to ascertain how New Zealand’s lockdown restrictions impacted physical activity, mental health and wellbeing. Participants (n = 4007; mean ± SD: age 46.5 ± 14.7 years, 72% female, 80.7% New Zealand European) completed (10–26 April 2020) an online amalgamated survey (Qualtrics): International Physical Activity Questionnaire: Short Form; Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-9; World Health Organisation-Five Well-Being Index; Stages of Change Scale. Positive dose–response relationships between physical activity levels and wellbeing scores were demonstrated for estimates that were unadjusted (moderate activity OR 3.79, CI 2.88–4.92; high activity OR 8.04, CI 6.07–10.7) and adjusted (confounding variables: age, gender, socioeconomic status, time sitting and co-morbidities) (moderate activity 1.57, CI 1.11–2.52; high activity 2.85, CI 1.97–4.14). The study results support previous research demonstrating beneficial effects of regular physical activity on mental health and wellbeing. Governments may use these results to promote meeting physical activity guidelines in order to protect mental health and wellbeing during the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and future pandemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19 on Exercise and Health)

Review

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17 pages, 2280 KiB  
Review
Systematic Review of COVID-19-Related Physical Activity-Based Rehabilitations: Benefits to Be Confirmed by More Robust Methodological Approaches
by Mélina Bailly, Léna Pélissier, Emmanuel Coudeyre, Bertrand Evrard, Rea Bingula, Corinne Rochette, Laurent Mériade, Christelle Blavignac, Anne-Cécile Fournier, Yves-Jean Bignon, Fabrice Rannou, Frédéric Dutheil, David Thivel and Martine Duclos
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9025; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159025 - 25 Jul 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2414
Abstract
The first emergency was to receive and treat COVID-19 patients in their acute phase; today, there is a clear need to propose appropriate post-acute rehabilitation programs. The aim of this research was to systematically review the effects of physical activity programs in the [...] Read more.
The first emergency was to receive and treat COVID-19 patients in their acute phase; today, there is a clear need to propose appropriate post-acute rehabilitation programs. The aim of this research was to systematically review the effects of physical activity programs in the recovery of post-COVID-19 patients. The literature search followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines, was registered in the PROSPERO database (CRD42022289219), and was conducted between August and December 2021. A total of 35 studies out of the 1528 initially identified were finally included in the analysis. The systematic review clearly showed the health benefits of rehabilitation including physical activity in post-COVID-19 recovery, regardless of exercise modalities. These positive results were even observed using minor muscle re-mobilization for severe cases (i.e., postural changes, few steps—2 times/day) or using low volumes of exercise for mild-to-moderate cases (i.e., 120 min/week). A total of 97% of the 29 studies that performed statistical analyses demonstrated a significant increase in at least one parameter of functional capacity, and 96% of the 26 studies that statistically investigated the effects on the quality of life, mental health, and general state reported improvements. Yet, most of the studies were retrospective, uncontrolled, and enrolled aged people with comorbidities presented in severe forms of COVID-19. Physical activity programs, in addition to their high heterogeneity, remained poorly described in 83% of the studies and were part of a multidisciplinary program for 89% of the studies. Despite promising results, there is today a real need for prospective well-designed studies specifically assessing the effects of physical activity. In addition, it might appear relevant to propose standardized programs further considering the main characteristics of patients such as age, comorbidities, or the severity of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19 on Exercise and Health)
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12 pages, 881 KiB  
Review
Influence of Physical Activity and Sport on the Inclusion of People with Visual Impairment: A Systematic Review
by Virginia Alcaraz-Rodríguez, Daniel Medina-Rebollo, Antonio Muñoz-Llerena and Jesús Fernández-Gavira
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010443 - 31 Dec 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 5236
Abstract
People with visual impairment have greater difficulty in accessing physical activity and sport, and a lack of social interaction is also associated with a risk of exclusion. Work is currently being done to include people with visual impairment through physical activity and sport. [...] Read more.
People with visual impairment have greater difficulty in accessing physical activity and sport, and a lack of social interaction is also associated with a risk of exclusion. Work is currently being done to include people with visual impairment through physical activity and sport. However, there is a lack of studies examining the status and overall effectiveness of interventions in the pre- and post-COVID stage. This study aimed to provide solid evidence on the characteristics and effectiveness of interventions for the inclusion of people with visual impairment through physical activity and sport in order to address the need for dissemination on this topic. The bibliographic search was carried out with the words “Physical activity”, “Physical exercise”, “Sport”, “Physical training”, “visual disability”, “visual impairment” and “inclusion” in the databases PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar from 2018 to 2021.The article selection process was according to the PRISMA protocol with a final selection of nine articles. The main results highlighted that the programmes improve the perception of people with disabilities, increase social skills and health and increase the social importance of people with disabilities in the social environment. Among the most generalised conclusions were the need for specialised training, the need for social inclusion and participation of people with visual impairment in their environments and increased physical activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19 on Exercise and Health)
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26 pages, 589 KiB  
Review
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Sedentary Time and Behaviour in Children and Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Adam Runacres, Kelly A. Mackintosh, Rachel L. Knight, Liba Sheeran, Rhys Thatcher, James Shelley and Melitta A. McNarry
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11286; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111286 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 98 | Viewed by 8764
Abstract
The aim of this meta-analysis was to quantify the change in sedentary time during the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on health outcomes in the general population. One thousand six hundred and one articles published after 2019 were retrieved from five databases, of [...] Read more.
The aim of this meta-analysis was to quantify the change in sedentary time during the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on health outcomes in the general population. One thousand six hundred and one articles published after 2019 were retrieved from five databases, of which 64 and 40 were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis, respectively. Studies were grouped according to population: children (<18 years), adults (18–64 years) and older adults (>65 years). Average sedentary time was calculated, with sub-analyses performed by country, behaviour type and health outcomes. Children were most affected, increasing their sedentary time by 159.5 ± 142.6 min day−1, followed by adults (+126.9 ± 42.2 min day−1) and older adults (+46.9 ± 22.0 min day−1). There were no sex differences in any age group. Screen time was the only consistently measured behaviour and accounted for 46.8% and 57.2% of total sedentary time in children and adults, respectively. Increases in sedentary time were negatively correlated with global mental health, depression, anxiety and quality of life, irrespective of age. Whilst lockdown negatively affected all age groups, children were more negatively affected than adults or older adults, highlighting this population as a key intervention target. As lockdowns ease worldwide, strategies should be employed to reduce time spent sedentary. Trial registration: PROSPERO (CRD42020208909). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19 on Exercise and Health)
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Other

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12 pages, 1019 KiB  
Systematic Review
Myocarditis in Athletes Recovering from COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Gloria Modica, Massimiliano Bianco, Fabrizio Sollazzo, Emanuela Di Murro, Riccardo Monti, Michela Cammarano, Lorenzo Morra, Francesco Maria Nifosì, Salvatore Francesco Gervasi, Ester Manes Gravina, Paolo Zeppilli and Vincenzo Palmieri
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4279; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074279 - 2 Apr 2022
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3775
Abstract
Background: To assess the event rates of myocarditis detected by Cardiac Magnetic Resonance (CMR) in athletes who recovered from COVID-19. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed to identify studies reporting abnormal CMR findings in athletes who recovered from COVID-19. Secondary analyses were [...] Read more.
Background: To assess the event rates of myocarditis detected by Cardiac Magnetic Resonance (CMR) in athletes who recovered from COVID-19. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed to identify studies reporting abnormal CMR findings in athletes who recovered from COVID-19. Secondary analyses were performed considering increased serum high sensitivity troponin (hs-Tn) levels and electrocardiographic (ECG) and echocardiographic (ECHO) abnormalities. Results: In total, 7988 athletes from 15 studies were included in the analysis. The pooled event rate of myocarditis was 1% (CI 1–2%), reaching 4% in the sub-group analysis. In addition, heterogeneity was observed (I2 43.8%). The pooled event rates of elevated serum hs-Tn levels, abnormal ECG and ECHO findings were 2% (CI 1–5%), 3% (CI 1–10%) and 2% (CI 1–6%), respectively. ECG, ECHO and serum hs-Tn level abnormalities did not show any correlation with myocarditis. Conclusions: The prevalence of COVID-19-related myocarditis in the athletic population ranges from 1 to 4%. Even if the event rate is quite low, current screening protocols are helpful tools for a safe return to play to properly address CMR studies. Trial registration: the study protocol was registered in the PROSPERO database (registration number: CRD42022300819). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of COVID-19 on Exercise and Health)
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