2nd Edition: Physical Activity and Mental Health

A special issue of Sports (ISSN 2075-4663).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 15650

Special Issue Editors

Department of Exercise Science, Elon University, Elon, NC 27244, USA
Interests: physical activity; mental health; affect; emotion; mood; concussion; mTBI; cognitive function; resistance exercise
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Wellington 6242, New Zealand
Interests: physical activity; natural environments and health; mental health; motivation; health behaviour change; mindfulness

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue focused on the role of physical activity in the enhancement of mental health and the prevention and care within mental illness for the journal Sports. This is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of sport sciences and public health. For detailed information about the journal, we refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/sports.

For this Special Issue we are interested in research related to the role of physical activity across the mental health continuum: from enhancing psychological well-being, to preventing, treating, and managing the health of people living with mental illness. In this context, mental illness refers to diagnoses of addictions, mood-related disorders (e.g., depression), psychosis, and personality disorders. Physical activity is used in the broadest sense to include sport, exercise, walking, yoga, and any other bodily movement.

It is well-documented that physical activity is important in the prevention, treatment, and management of mental illness, in addition to having a clear role in supporting the physical health of people living with serious mental illness. Therefore, physical activity can be a crucial tool in addressing health inequities in this vulnerable population (Firth et al., 2019).

We particularly welcome manuscripts that offer novel insights into the relationships between physical activity and mental illness (e.g., social, neurological, and psychological explanations); describe innovative and/or scalable physical-activity-based interventions within mental healthcare; explore the role of the physical activity environment (e.g., nature, social) in preventing and enhancing recovery from mental illness; and describe interventions aligned with Indigenous approaches to physical activity promotion.

This Special Issue is open to any subject area related to physical activity and mental health. The listed keywords suggest just a few of the many possibilities.

Prof. Dr. Eric E. Hall
Dr. Matthew Jenkins
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. Sports 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 1800 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

  • exercise
  • physical activity
  • mental health
  • mental illness
  • anxiety
  • emotion
  • mood
  • depression
  • cognitive function and impairment
  • motivation

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 503 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of a Judo Intervention Programme on the Psychosocial Area in Secondary School Education Students
Sports 2023, 11(8), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11080140 - 28 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1026
Abstract
Currently, many combat sports are pedagogically conceived as uneducational and unreliable for the development of young people. The present research aims to investigate the influence of a Judo intervention programme on the motivational climate towards sport, aggressive behaviour, emotional intelligence, and self-concept in [...] Read more.
Currently, many combat sports are pedagogically conceived as uneducational and unreliable for the development of young people. The present research aims to investigate the influence of a Judo intervention programme on the motivational climate towards sport, aggressive behaviour, emotional intelligence, and self-concept in secondary school students and to establish the relationships between them. This objective was broken down into (a) developing an explanatory model of the variables mentioned above and (b) testing the model equations through a multi-group analysis in terms of pre-test and post-test. The present study conducted a pre–post-test quasi-experimental design with a single experimental group. The sample consisted of a total of 139 adolescents (12.67 ± 1.066), 50.4% of whom were male (n = 70) and 49.6% female (n = 69). The results show that the intervention decreased all types of aggression and increased levels of emotional intelligence. An increase in social, physical and academic self-concept and decreases in the family and emotional areas were also observed. Finally, for the motivational climate, a tendency towards the ego climate to the detriment of the task climate was observed. It is concluded that the Judo intervention programme is effective in decreasing aggressive behaviour and effective in increasing levels of emotional intelligence and self-concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition: Physical Activity and Mental Health)
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10 pages, 604 KiB  
Article
The Prevalence of “at Risk” Eating Disorders among Athletes in Jordan
Sports 2022, 10(11), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110182 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2217
Abstract
Eating disorders (EDs) are addressed as one of the expanding mental health problems worldwide. While an ED is a clinical psychiatric diagnosis that can only be established after a psychiatric assessment, it is important to note that “at-risk” refers to people who will [...] Read more.
Eating disorders (EDs) are addressed as one of the expanding mental health problems worldwide. While an ED is a clinical psychiatric diagnosis that can only be established after a psychiatric assessment, it is important to note that “at-risk” refers to people who will exhibit aberrant eating patterns but do not fully meet the requirements for an ED diagnosis. This study was designed to address the ED symptoms (i.e., “at-risk”) in Jordanian athletes and their association with age, sex, body mass index (BMI), and type of sport. A convenient, cross-sectional study was conducted among 249 athlete participants by answering the Eating Attitude Test (EAT-26). The EAT-26 results indicated an ED prevalence of 34% among Jordanian athletes. Within “at-risk” ED athletes, sex, age, and BMI had no significant differences in the rates of EDs. Outdoor sports had the least effect on EDs, while the highest was amongst gymnastics. EDs prevalence is alarming among Jordanian athletes. Gymnastics is a risk factor for increasing EDs. Our results should be taken into consideration by physicians, mental health professionals, sports nutritionists, coaches, and sport medicine specialists. We recommend establishing strategies pertaining to mental health, especially EDs in sports centers, along with screening programs for those who demand additional assessment and supervision. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition: Physical Activity and Mental Health)
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Review

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15 pages, 725 KiB  
Review
The Effect of Acute Exercise on State Anxiety: A Systematic Review
Sports 2023, 11(8), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11080145 - 01 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1862
Abstract
Acute exercise has been shown to induce a small reduction in state anxiety, yet the most beneficial exercise stimulus is not clear. This review provides an update on the papers published since the last comprehensive review in 2015, with specific emphasis on whether [...] Read more.
Acute exercise has been shown to induce a small reduction in state anxiety, yet the most beneficial exercise stimulus is not clear. This review provides an update on the papers published since the last comprehensive review in 2015, with specific emphasis on whether study quality has improved. Randomised control trials, conducted in samples of healthy adults with non-clinical anxiety, were sourced from PubMed, PsycInfo, and Scopus. Study characteristics and study quality were assessed in nine studies comprising thirteen exercise conditions. Acute exercise significantly reduced anxiety in 53% (N = 7/13) of the exercise conditions. In comparison to a control condition, four showed exercising to be more effective, and one was as effective as the control. Two of the effective studies did not contain a control group. Six conditions were ineffective in reducing anxiety. There was no clear pattern of what combination of exercise mode, duration, and intensity was most effective, suggesting a variety may be effective in reducing anxiety. Methodological limitations still exist within the research, e.g., participant recruitment not considering baseline anxiety; variations in the control condition content. Future research should include participant samples exhibiting moderate-to-high levels of anxiety and examine self-selected exercise intensities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition: Physical Activity and Mental Health)
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11 pages, 1409 KiB  
Review
Does Physical Activity in Natural Outdoor Environments Improve Wellbeing? A Meta-Analysis
Sports 2022, 10(7), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10070103 - 29 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3075
Abstract
Organizational initiatives and researchers have argued for the importance of the natural outdoor environment (NOE) for promoting wellbeing. The main aim of this meta-analysis was to synthesize the existing literature to examine the effects of physical activity (PA) in the NOE on wellbeing [...] Read more.
Organizational initiatives and researchers have argued for the importance of the natural outdoor environment (NOE) for promoting wellbeing. The main aim of this meta-analysis was to synthesize the existing literature to examine the effects of physical activity (PA) in the NOE on wellbeing in adults. The secondary aim was to explore whether wellbeing reported by adults differs as a function of PA context. Electronic databases (PubMed, ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health, PsycINFO, SPORTDiscus and Embase) were searched for English peer-reviewed articles published before January 2019. Inclusion criteria were: (1) healthy adults; (2) PA in the NOE; (3) the measurement of wellbeing; and (4) randomized control trials, quasi-experimental designs, matched group designs. To address the secondary aim, PA in the NOE was compared with that performed indoors. Risk of bias was assessed through the Effective Public Health Practice Project (EHPP) Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies. Primary studies meeting inclusion criteria for the main (nstudies = 19) and secondary (nstudies = 5) aims were analyzed and interpreted. The overall effect size for the main analysis was moderate (d = 0.49, p < 0.001; 95% CI = 0.33, 0.66), with the magnitude of effect varying depending on wellbeing dimension. Wellbeing was greater in PA in the NOE subgroup (d = 0.53) when compared with the indoor subgroup (d = 0.28), albeit not statistically significant (p = 0.15). Although physical activity in the NOE was associated with higher wellbeing, there is limited evidence to support that it confers superior benefits to that engaged indoors. Researchers are encouraged to include study designs that measure markers of wellbeing at multiple time points, greater consideration to diverse wellbeing dimensions and justify decisions linked to PA and NOE types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition: Physical Activity and Mental Health)
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19 pages, 1249 KiB  
Review
Psychological Adaptations to High-Intensity Interval Training in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Topical Review
Sports 2022, 10(5), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10050064 - 22 Apr 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 6546
Abstract
Regular exercise has been reported as a fundamental piece of the management and treatment puzzle of obesity, playing a vital role in numerous psychological indicators. However, it is unclear whether high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can improve critical psychological health markers such as adherence, [...] Read more.
Regular exercise has been reported as a fundamental piece of the management and treatment puzzle of obesity, playing a vital role in numerous psychological indicators. However, it is unclear whether high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can improve critical psychological health markers such as adherence, exercise enjoyment, affective responses, health-related quality of life, anxiety, and depression in overweight and obese adults. The purpose of this topical review was to catalogue studies investigating the psychological responses to HIIT in order to identify what psychological outcomes have been assessed, the research methods used, and the results. The inclusion/exclusion criteria were met by 25 published articles investigating either a traditional, single-component (84%) or a hybrid-type, multi-component (16%) HIIT protocol and involving 930 participants with overweight/obesity. The present topical review on HIIT-induced psychological adaptations shows that this popular exercise mode, but also demanding for the masses, can meaningfully increase the vast majority of the selected mental health-related indices. These improvements seem to be equal if not greater than those observed for moderate-intensity continuous training in overweight and obese adults. However, further research is needed in this area, focusing on the potential mechanisms behind positive alterations in various psychological health parameters through larger samples and high-quality randomized controlled trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition: Physical Activity and Mental Health)
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