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Special Issue "Women’s Health: Physical Activity, Stress, Sleep and Quality of Life"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2023 | Viewed by 3313

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Da̧browska-Galas Magdalena
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Kinesitherapy and Special Methods, School of Health Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, 40-752 Katowice, Poland
Interests: physical activity; stress; sleep; quality of life; women's health
Prof. Dr. Kuba Ptaszkowski
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department of Obstetrics, Faculty of Health Science, Wroclaw Medical University, K. Bartla 5, 51-618 Wroclaw, Poland
Interests: physical activity; stress; sleep; quality of life; women's health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Women and girls have specific needs and opportunities to improve their health, well-being and quality of life at every stage of their lives. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a huge threat to global public health due to societal fear and anxiety, causing significant stress, affecting health and quality of life. Women tend to experience higher levels of stress than men. It is not always possible to identify the factor causing stress and eliminate it in everyday life. However, effective stress-relief strategies improve health and quality of life. Sleep problem is another factor which has a profound impact on overall health and quality of life. Sleep problems can affect anybody, however women are more likely to experience insomnia than men. Sleep may be affected by variation in hormonal changes in woman’s life and during women’s monthly menstrual cycle, stress, depression, pain, aging, and many other factors. Another factor that influence health is physical activity. Sedentary lifestyle has become one of the major public health problems in the 21st century. Increased physical activity level is associated with reduced stress and improved physical and mental health Most studies on these areas focused more on older women, rather than younger women. No single factor explains worse health and quality of life in women at different stages of women’s lives. Multidisciplinary researches are still needed to provide guidelines to improve women’ quality of life in physical, mental, sociological or economic areas. The purpose of this research collection is to add to the current knowledge on:

  • Women’s physical activity level
  • ways of motivating to increase physical activity in women
  • stress-relief therapy
  • stress-related eating and obesity
  • insomnia in women
  • quality of life at every stage of women’s life. 

Dr. Da̧browska-Galas Magdalena
Prof. Dr. Kuba Ptaszkowski
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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 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 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

  • physical activity
  • stress
  • sleep
  • quality of life
  • women's health

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
The Impact of Competitive Swimming on Menstrual Cycle Disorders and Subsequent Sports Injuries as Related to the Female Athlete Triad and on Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(23), 15854; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192315854 - 28 Nov 2022
Viewed by 209
Abstract
Background: An athlete’s menstrual cycle may be seriously disturbed when she undertakes a physical activity that exceeds the body’s adaptive capacity and/or applies dietary restrictions. The main aim of this study was to assess the impact of swimming training undertaken by participants [...] Read more.
Background: An athlete’s menstrual cycle may be seriously disturbed when she undertakes a physical activity that exceeds the body’s adaptive capacity and/or applies dietary restrictions. The main aim of this study was to assess the impact of swimming training undertaken by participants of sport clubs on disorders of the menstrual cycle. Methods: The study involved 64 female athletes. The questionnaire utilized in this study was composed by the authors, however some of the questions were based on Low Energy Availability in Females Questionnaire (LEAF-Q). Results: 31.26% of swimmers reported that the menstrual cycle was stopped for more than 3 months, of which 21.88% had a menstrual absence for more than 6 months and 9.38% between 3 months and 6 months. Years of training were a positive predictor of the ‘more profuse bleeding’. There was a negative correlation between the disorders of the menstrual cycle, the body weight of the female participants (p < 0.05) and the body mass index (p < 0.01). It was found that with the severity of the degree of disorder in the menstrual cycle, the number of injuries among the surveyed swimmers increased (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The correct body weight of the participants was a positive predictor of the absence of the menstrual cycle disorders among the majority of women practicing swimming. Disorders in the menstrual cycle occurring in a certain percentage of the swimmers positively correlated with the number of injuries recorded among these swimmers. Swimming has been shown to alleviate some of the premenstrual symptoms. Full article
Article
Urinary Incontinence and Sleep Quality in Older Women with Type 2 Diabetes: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(23), 15642; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192315642 - 24 Nov 2022
Viewed by 345
Abstract
Background: Urinary incontinence (UI) and poor sleep negatively affect health-related quality of life (HRQoL). This study explored the UI-related factors and the relationships between UI, sleep quality, and HRQoL. Methods: This cross-sectional study collected data from 237 women with type 2 diabetes. Multivariate [...] Read more.
Background: Urinary incontinence (UI) and poor sleep negatively affect health-related quality of life (HRQoL). This study explored the UI-related factors and the relationships between UI, sleep quality, and HRQoL. Methods: This cross-sectional study collected data from 237 women with type 2 diabetes. Multivariate logistic regression was conducted to identify the factors associated with UI. One-way analysis of variance was used to compare the mean sleep quality and HRQoL scores of women without UI and those who experienced UI of varying severities. Correlation coefficients were estimated, and multivariate linear regression was conducted to examine the relationships between UI severity, sleep quality, and HRQoL. Results: Of the 237 women, 115 (48.52%) experienced UI and 139 (58.65%) were poor sleepers. The three factors associated with UI were advanced age, a higher body mass index, and a history of vaginal delivery. Significant associations between UI severity and sleep quality and between sleep quality and HRQoL were revealed. UI severity and night-time voiding frequency were both associated with sleep quality. Conclusions: One factor associated with UI (body mass index) is modifiable. UI severity is associated with sleep quality as the possible influence of night-time voiding frequency on sleep quality has been considered. Full article
Article
Predicting Physical Activity in Chinese Pregnant Women Using Multi-Theory Model: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(20), 13383; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192013383 - 17 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 550
Abstract
Background: Physical activity (PA) brings many benefits to pregnant women and fetuses; however, the majority of pregnant women do not participate actively in PA during pregnancy. Objectives: This study aimed to: (1) assess the utility of Multi-Theory Model (MTM) to explain the intentions [...] Read more.
Background: Physical activity (PA) brings many benefits to pregnant women and fetuses; however, the majority of pregnant women do not participate actively in PA during pregnancy. Objectives: This study aimed to: (1) assess the utility of Multi-Theory Model (MTM) to explain the intentions of PA behavior in Chinese pregnant women; (2) analyze the predictors in initiating and maintaining PA behavior based on MTM. Methods: A cross-sectional study including pregnant women was conducted from March to June 2022 at a university hospital in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. Participants completed measures that included a self-developed demographic questionnaire and a 29-item MTM questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and stepwise multiple regression were used to analyze the data. The reliability was assessed by Cronbach’s alpha and test-retest stability. The construct validity was evaluated by using exploratory factor (EFA) analysis and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Results: A total of 450 pregnant women participated in this study. The score of the magnitude of intention to initiate and maintain PA behavior during pregnancy was 2.30 (1.08) and 2.24 (1.09). The overall Cronbach’s alpha value was 0.857. A four-factor structure for initiation model and a three-factor structure for maintenance model were determined. Results of the CFA confirmed construct validity of subscales (initiation model: χ2 = 206.123, df = 140, p < 0.001, χ2/df = 1.472, RMSEA = 0.046, SRMR = 0.0432, GFI = 0.913, CFI = 0.982; maintenance model: χ2 = 49.742, df = 29, p < 0.001, χ2/df = 1.715, RMSEA = 0.057, SRMR = 0.0432, GFI = 0.958, CFI 0.985). The result of regression indicated that participatory dialogue (β = 0.030; p = 0.002), behavioral confidence (β = 0.128; p < 0.001), changes in physical environment (β = 0.041; p = 0.005), trimester (β = −0.192; p = 0.001), and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) (β = 0.408; p < 0.001) explained 52.1% variance in initiating PA behavior. Emotional transformation (β = 0.197; p < 0.001), practice for change (β = 0.083; p = 0.001), changes in social environment (β = 0.063; p < 0.001), pre-pregnancy exercise habit (β = −0.251; p = 0.001), and GDM (β = 0.298; p = 0.003) were significantly associated with pregnant women’s intentions to maintain PA behavior and explained 49.1% variance. Conclusions: The constructs of MTM were effective in explaining the intention to initiate and maintain PA behavior among Chinese pregnant women. Full article
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Article
The Relationship between Postmenopausal Women’s Self-Esteem and Physical Activity Level—A Survey Study from Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9558; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159558 - 03 Aug 2022
Viewed by 610
Abstract
Introduction: Physical inactivity has become one of the major public health and economic concerns in Western societies. The consequences of physical inactivity are associated with many physical problems, however, the influence of physical activity (PA) on psychological health is unclear. The aims of [...] Read more.
Introduction: Physical inactivity has become one of the major public health and economic concerns in Western societies. The consequences of physical inactivity are associated with many physical problems, however, the influence of physical activity (PA) on psychological health is unclear. The aims of our study were to assess self-esteem and physical activity levels in postmenopausal women and to examine the association between physical activity levels and self-esteem in this group. Material and methods: Survey research was conducted on postmenopausal women aged M = 58.81 ± 7.68 in women’s health clinics in Silesia, Poland. The total number of participants was 131, and 18 were excluded. A questionnaire with socio-demographic data and other international questionnaires were used: International Physical Activity Questionnaire, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and Beck Depression inventory. Results: 78.76% of postmenopausal women were physically active. Mean value of MET-min/week was M = 1543.46 ± 1060.92. A total of 11.51% of women reported low self-esteem, with the mean total value of SES M = 31.79 ± 2.93. There was a lack of correlation between total IPAQ score and self-esteem (r = −0.241, p = 0.01). Conclusions: Postmenopausal women have mostly average self-esteem. They are generally active, and walking is the most common form of physical activity, however, a higher PA level does not influence self-esteem. Full article
Article
The COVID-19 Pandemic and Levels of Physical Activity in the Last Trimester, Life Satisfaction and Perceived Stress in Late Pregnancy and in the Early Puerperium
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 3066; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19053066 - 05 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1219
Abstract
Background: The aim of this study was to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the levels of physical activity during the third trimester of pregnancy, life satisfaction and stress in women in late pregnancy and early postpartum. Methods: The study was [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this study was to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the levels of physical activity during the third trimester of pregnancy, life satisfaction and stress in women in late pregnancy and early postpartum. Methods: The study was conducted among 740 patients of maternity wards in Cracow hospitals on days 1–8 postpartum. Patients who were surveyed before the pandemic (December 2019–March 2020) were included in the prepandemic group (PPan: n = 252). The second group of women (COVID 1 group, Cov1: n = 262) was examined in the early stages of the pandemic (May–September 2020). In turn, participants who were surveyed during the population vaccination campaign (June–September 2021) were qualified to the COVID 2 group (Cov2: n = 226). The research tools used were the original questionnaire in addition to standardized questionnaires assessing physical activity in the last trimester of pregnancy (the Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire); previous life satisfaction (the Satisfaction with Life Scale); and stress levels during the last month (the Perceived Stress Scale). Results: During the pandemic, women reduced the level of energy spent on total physical activity; nevertheless, statistically significant differences were found only between the PPan and Cov2 groups (p = 0.001). At the early stages of the pandemic, patients significantly reduced mobility activities (Cov1 vs. PPan: p < 0.001; Cov1 vs. Cov2: p = 0.007), while late in the pandemic they spent less energy on household activities (Cov2 vs. PPan: p = 0.002, Cov2 vs. Cov1: p = 0.002). There were no differences in the levels of stress and life satisfaction. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the level of physical activity; however, it did not change levels of perceived stress and life satisfaction in women in late-stage pregnancy and in the early puerperium. Full article
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