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Special Issue "Exercise and Health during COVID-19"

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 (30 June 2021) | Viewed by 35908

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Amelia Guadalupe Grau
E-Mail Website1 Website2 Website3
Guest Editor
1. ImFINE Research Group, Department of Health and Human Performance, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2. CIBER of Frailty and Healthy Aging (CIBERFES), ISCIII, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Interests: exercise physiology; exercise in older adults; physical activity; HIIT; diabetes; muscle power training
Dr. Olga López Torres
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Health and Human Performance, Faculty of Physical Activity and Sport Science, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: coronavirus; lockdown; home-based training; fitness; physical condition in older adults; functionality; physical activity; sedentary behavior
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic caused by a new virus named SARS-CoV2. Like others in the coronavirus family, this virus causes various clinical manifestations under the term COVID-19, including respiratory symptoms that vary from the common cold to severe pneumonia with respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock, and multiorgan failure. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 can occur through the secretions of infected people, mainly by direct contact with respiratory droplets larger than 5 microns (capable of being transmitted at distances of up to 2 meters). For this reason, many countries have restricted mobility and social interactions among their citizens as part of their early-stage strategies to fight the pandemic. Such approaches are likely to increase sedentary behaviors and induce negative health effects on the general population, and even worse in at-risk individuals (i.e., advanced age, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease).

Therefore, the current Special Issue welcomes papers addressing the negative health effects of COVID-19 lockdowns, the strategies, possible solutions or alternatives to maintain physical activity levels, as well as the potential role of exercise-based interventions in the reduction of physical inactivity derived by natural movement restrictions.

Dr. Amelia Guadalupe Grau
Dr. Olga López Torres
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • COVID-19
  • sedentary behavior
  • physical inactivity
  • health and well-being
  • aging
  • sarcopenia
  • depression
  • frailty
  • home-based exercise
  • teletraining

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Article
Variations in the Mood States during the Different Phases of COVID-19’s Lockdown in Young Athletes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9326; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179326 - 03 Sep 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1661
Abstract
The pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 led to a situation of home lockdown. Competitions, training, and sports activities were canceled for much of this period. This situation could have affected the physical and mental health and the mood states of young athletes. The aim [...] Read more.
The pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 led to a situation of home lockdown. Competitions, training, and sports activities were canceled for much of this period. This situation could have affected the physical and mental health and the mood states of young athletes. The aim of the study was to evaluate the variations in the mood states of young athletes of a highly competitive level during the different phases of lockdown in. The mood states of 45 Spanish youth athletes confined during the 10-week lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic -19 were assessed, using the Spanish-translated version of the POMS questionnaire, at the start of the home lockdown and at the start and at the end of the partial lockdown. The Total Mood Disturbance scores at week 10 were lower than those obtained in week 1 (pBonferroni = 0.031). The depression scores at week 6 (pBonferroni = 0.048) and at week 10 (pBonferroni < 0.001) were lower than those obtained in week 1. The confusion scores at week 10 were lower than those obtained in week 1 (pBonferroni = 0.002). These variations differed between team and individual sports. In conclusion, the lockdown produced changes in the young athletes’ mood states that should be considered when trying to optimize their physical and mental performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Health during COVID-19)
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Article
Objective Behavioral Measures in Children before, during, and after the COVID-19 Lockdown in Israel
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8732; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168732 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2828
Abstract
Studies using questionnaires report that COVID-19 restrictions resulted in children spending significantly less time outdoors. This study used objective measures to assess the impact of pandemic-related restrictions on children’s behavior. A total of 19 healthy 8–12-year-old boys were observed before and during social [...] Read more.
Studies using questionnaires report that COVID-19 restrictions resulted in children spending significantly less time outdoors. This study used objective measures to assess the impact of pandemic-related restrictions on children’s behavior. A total of 19 healthy 8–12-year-old boys were observed before and during social restriction periods. Of these, 11 boys were reassessed after restrictions were lifted. For each session, Actiwatches were dispensed for measures of time outdoors, activity, and sleep. Changes overall and by school status were assessed using signed-rank test and Wilcoxon rank sum tests. During restrictions, children spent significantly less time outdoors (p = 0.001), were less active (p = 0.001), and spent less time engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (p = 0.004). Sleep duration was not significantly different between sessions (p > 0.99), but bedtime and wake time shifted to a later time during restrictions (p < 0.05 for both). Time outdoors and activity returned close to pre-pandemic levels after restrictions were lifted (p > 0.05 for both). Children’s behaviors significantly changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reduction in outdoor light exposure is of importance due to the role of light in the etiology of myopia and vitamin D production. The reduction in physical activity may have negative health effects in terms of obesity and depression, although further research is required to ascertain the long-term effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Health during COVID-19)
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Article
Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Weight Status of University Students during the COVID-19 Lockdown: A Cross-National Comparative Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 7125; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18137125 - 03 Jul 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4947
Abstract
The temporary closure of learning institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically reduced the physical activity of students across all ages. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the prevalence of physical inactivity and the patterns of physical activity among university students in confinement. [...] Read more.
The temporary closure of learning institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically reduced the physical activity of students across all ages. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the prevalence of physical inactivity and the patterns of physical activity among university students in confinement. This cross-sectional study involved 147 Malaysian students and 107 Indonesian students. Body weight before the pandemic and during the pandemic was self-reported by the respondents, and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form (IPAQ-SF) was used to assess the physical activity and sedentary behavior of the respondents. The findings revealed that 79.6% of Malaysians and 77.6% of Indonesians were physically active during the confinement. There was no significant difference (p < 0.05) in the duration devoted to vigorous-intensity activity (MMalaysian = 0.00 MET minutes/week and MIndonesian = 480.00 MET minutes/week) and moderate-intensity activity (MMalaysian = 0.00 MET minutes/week and MIndonesian = 0.00 MET minutes/week) among the studied population. During the pandemic, Malaysian students (M = 1386.00 MET minutes/week) devoted a significantly higher duration to walking (M = 1386.00 MET minutes/week) and sedentary behavior (9.16 ± 4.47 h/day) than Indonesian students (M = 990.00 MET minutes/week and sedentary behavior = 7.85 ± 4.27 h/day). Overall, no significant difference was noted in the total physical activity of Malaysian and Indonesian students during the pandemic (MMalaysian = 2826.00 MET minutes/week and MIndonesian = 1782.00 MET minutes/week). Findings from Spearman’s rank correlation test suggested that there was a weak inverse correlation between the duration engaged in vigorous-intensity activity and weight change among the Malaysian students (rs = −0.199, p = 0.016), after adjusting for gender and age. Overall, the closure of learning institutions and exercise facilities has further prevented individuals from complying with the WHO recommendation of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during the period of home confinement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Health during COVID-19)
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Article
Physical Activity among Adults Residing in 11 Countries during the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 7056; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18137056 - 01 Jul 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3624
Abstract
During the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, physical activity (PA) behaviors were altered worldwide due to public health measures such as “lockdown.” This study described PA among adults residing in 11 countries during COVID-19 lockdown and examined factors associated with PA engagement. We conducted [...] Read more.
During the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, physical activity (PA) behaviors were altered worldwide due to public health measures such as “lockdown.” This study described PA among adults residing in 11 countries during COVID-19 lockdown and examined factors associated with PA engagement. We conducted a cross-sectional anonymous survey among adults (≥18 years old) in 11 countries (Brazil, Bulgaria, China, India, Ireland, Malaysia, North Macedonia, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, United States). Of 11,775 participants, 63.7% were female and 52.8% were 18–34 years old. More than 40% of participants were insufficiently active (43.9%) and reported a decrease in their PA during lockdown (44.8%). Statistically significant differences were observed in (1) proportions of participants being insufficiently active, (2) level of PA, and (3) decrease in PA across the 11 countries. More stringent governmental policy responses were associated with greater likelihood of being insufficiently active during lockdown (adjusted odds ratio = 1.22, 95% confidence interval = 1.03, 1.45). Higher depression or anxiety scores were associated with greater likelihood of decreased level of PA during lockdown.We found substantial reductions in PA levels during COVID-19 lockdown across countries. Country-specific PA promotion interventions are needed during this and similar global emergencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Health during COVID-19)
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Article
Changes in Sitting Time, Screen Exposure and Physical Activity during COVID-19 Lockdown in South American Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5239; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105239 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3927
Abstract
The worldwide prevalence of insufficient physical activity (PA) and prolonged sedentary behavior (SB) were high before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Measures that were taken by governments (such as home confinement) to control the spread of COVID-19 may have affected levels of PA and [...] Read more.
The worldwide prevalence of insufficient physical activity (PA) and prolonged sedentary behavior (SB) were high before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Measures that were taken by governments (such as home confinement) to control the spread of COVID-19 may have affected levels of PA and SB. This cross-sectional study among South American adults during the first months of COVID-19 aims to (i) compare sitting time (ST), screen exposure, moderate PA (MPA), vigorous PA (VPA), and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) before and during lockdown to sociodemographic correlates and (ii) to assess the impact of lockdown on combinations of groups reporting meeting/not-meeting PA recommendations and engaging/not-engaging excessive ST (≥7 h/day). Bivariate associations, effect sizes, and multivariable linear regressions were used. Adults from Argentina (n = 575) and Chile (n = 730) completed an online survey with questions regarding demographics, lifestyle factors, and chronic diseases. Mean reductions of 42.7 and 22.0 min./day were shown in MPA and VPA, respectively; while increases of 212.4 and 164.3 min./day were observed in screen and ST, respectively. Those who met PA recommendations and spent <7 h/day of ST experienced greatest changes, reporting greater than 3 h/day higher ST and more than 1.5 h/day lower MVPA. Findings from the present study suggest that efforts to promote PA to South American adults during and after COVID-19 restrictions are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Health during COVID-19)
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Article
Adaptability and Resilience of Academic Radiation Oncology Personnel and Procedures during COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5095; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105095 - 12 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1452
Abstract
Background: A comprehensive response to the unprecedented SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) challenges for public health and its impact on radiation oncology patients and personnel for resilience and adaptability is presented. Methods: The general recommendations included working remotely when feasible, implementation of screening/safety and personal protective [...] Read more.
Background: A comprehensive response to the unprecedented SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) challenges for public health and its impact on radiation oncology patients and personnel for resilience and adaptability is presented. Methods: The general recommendations included working remotely when feasible, implementation of screening/safety and personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines, social distancing, regular cleaning of treatment environment, and testing for high-risk patients/procedures. All teaching conferences, tumor boards, and weekly chart rounds were conducted using a virtual platform. Additionally, specific recommendations were given to each section to ensure proper patient treatments. The impact of these measures, especially adaptability and resilience, were evaluated through specific questionnaire surveys. Results: These comprehensive COVID-19-related measures resulted in most staff expressing a consistent level of satisfaction in regard to personal safety, maintaining a safe work environment, continuing quality patient care, and continuing educational activities during the pandemic. There was a significant reduction in patient treatments and on-site patient visits with an appreciable increase in the number of telemedicine e-visits. Conclusions: Survey results demonstrated substantial adaptability and resilience, including in the rapid recovery of departmental activities during the reactivation phase. In the event of a future public health emergency, the measures implemented may be adopted with good outcomes by radiation oncology departments across the globe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Health during COVID-19)
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Article
Impact of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease Pandemic on Health-Related Quality of Life and Psychological Status: The Role of Physical Activity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 3992; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083992 - 10 Apr 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2453
Abstract
This study investigated the impact of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and psychological status among Saudi adults, and whether physical activity modifies this association. The participants were 518 adults aged ≥18 years (67.4% men). Using an [...] Read more.
This study investigated the impact of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and psychological status among Saudi adults, and whether physical activity modifies this association. The participants were 518 adults aged ≥18 years (67.4% men). Using an online survey, data regarding demographic information, the impact of COVID-19 (assessed by the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5), HRQoL (Short Form-8), psychological distress (Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale), and physical activity behavior (International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form) were collected. The results demonstrate that adults reporting moderate or high levels of impact of COVID-19 had a lower HRQoL and higher psychological distress than adults reporting a low impact. HRQoL was higher for adults reporting any level impact (low, moderate, or high) of COVID-19 when they participated in recommended levels of physical activity (≥600 metabolic equivalent (MET)-min/week of total physical activity). Psychological distress was lower for adults reporting a high level of impact when they participated in recommended physical activity. Moderate or high levels of impact of COVID-19 were associated with a significantly lower HRQoL and higher psychological distress than the low impact of COVID-19. However, these associations were moderated by the recommended levels of physical activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Health during COVID-19)
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Article
Physical Sports Activities and Exercise Addiction during Lockdown in the Spanish Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3119; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063119 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2393
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to the paralysis of the worldwide economy caused by the population’s lockdown to stop the virus spreading, making it difficult to do exercise. The aim of this study is to analyse the commitment to and [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to the paralysis of the worldwide economy caused by the population’s lockdown to stop the virus spreading, making it difficult to do exercise. The aim of this study is to analyse the commitment to and feeling of insecurity related to practising sport, sports habits and the profile of the Spanish population during lockdown according to the level of addiction to exercise. The sample consisted of 1019 subjects with a mean age of 35 years old. The variables analysed were exercise addiction, commitment to and feeling of insecurity related to sport, and sport habits. Three groups were identified according to their addiction level to exercise: asymptomatic (n = 202), symptomatic (n = 756), and at risk of addiction (n = 61). The main results indicated that a higher addiction level was associated with a higher number of days and time spent on exercise per week. Six percent of the subjects were at addiction risk, and they had a lower feeling of insecurity towards sport. These findings provide information to governments on the need to promote physical activity programmes at home to promote adequate fitness and mental wellbeing in the population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Health during COVID-19)
Article
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(6), 2930; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062930 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 6292
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Health during COVID-19)
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Article
Physical Activity and Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet among Spanish Employees in a Health-Promotion Program before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Sanitas-Healthy Cities Challenge
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2735; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052735 - 08 Mar 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2734
Abstract
Physical activity and a healthy diet are key factors for avoiding major noncommunicable diseases. The aim of the present study was to analyze how physical activity (PA) and adherence to the Mediterranean diet among employees participating in the Healthy Cities program have been [...] Read more.
Physical activity and a healthy diet are key factors for avoiding major noncommunicable diseases. The aim of the present study was to analyze how physical activity (PA) and adherence to the Mediterranean diet among employees participating in the Healthy Cities program have been affected during confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sample was composed of 297 employees from 40 leading companies based in Spain, who participated in the 5th edition of the Sanitas “Healthy Cities” challenge. The participants (148 women and 149 men), aged between 24 and 63 years old (M = 42.76; SD = 7.79) completed the short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and the PREDIMED (Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea) questionnaire to measure adherence to the Mediterranean diet before and during the pandemic. Pearson χ2 tests revealed that workers were more likely to show sedentary behaviors during the pandemic than before (83.5% vs. 66.7%). Additionally, they were more likely to reach high levels of PA (51.2% vs. 64%), and Wilcoxon tests revealed that energy expenditure measured in Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) was higher during the pandemic (4199.03 METs) than before (3735.32 METs), due to an increase in moderate PA. Lastly, a higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet during the pandemic (76.4%) than before (54.5%) was reported. The findings of this investigation suggest a positive effect of working from home for employees involved in a health-promotion program, and highlight the relevance of this kind of action among this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Health during COVID-19)

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Protocol
Multicomponent Home-Based Training Program for Chronic Kidney Disease Patients during Movement Restriction
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3416; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073416 - 25 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1659
Abstract
Both intradialytic and out-of-clinic exercise programs (EP) have been proven to be a safe and effective way to increase fitness levels in end-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. The actual COVID-19 pandemic situation has forced the suspension of EP offered in hemodialysis centers [...] Read more.
Both intradialytic and out-of-clinic exercise programs (EP) have been proven to be a safe and effective way to increase fitness levels in end-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. The actual COVID-19 pandemic situation has forced the suspension of EP offered in hemodialysis centers in many countries; as well as all activities considered as “non-essential” (i.e., sport facilities and fitness centers). Therefore, there is a high risk that movement restrictions would promote physical inactivity and its associated diseases in CKD patients; especially those undergoing domiciliary confinement situations. Given the importance for CKD patients’ overall health to maintain exercise levels and reach physical activity recommendations, the aim of this Protocol was to design a personalized, well-structured, multicomponent physical EP that CKD patients can safely follow at home. We also aimed to provide an initial fitness evaluation tool that allows patients to adapt the EP to their fitness level. Current general exercise recommendations for people living with chronic conditions have been analyzed to develop the present home-based EP proposal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Health during COVID-19)
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