OBJECTIVE: The Islamic Republic of Iran has displayed one of the highest rates of COVID-19 infection in the world and the highest rate of mortality in the Middle East. Iran has used a stringent package of preventive health measures to mitigate the spread of infection, which however has negatively affected individuals’ physical and psychological health. This study aimed at examining whether physical-activity (PA) behavior, anxiety, well-being, and sleep-quality changed in response to the COVID-19-related public health restrictions enforced in Iran.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: An online questionnaire was disseminated to adults residing in Iran from November 17, 2020, to February 13, 2021 (~88 days), during Iran’s strictest public health restrictions. Main outcome measures included Godin-Shephard Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire, General Anxiety Disorder-7, Mental Health Continuum-Short Form, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.
RESULTS: A total of 3,323 adults (mean age 30±11 years, 54.3% female) participated in the survey. Firstly, the restrictions generally reduced PA behavior: (a) among inactive participants (IPs), 60.6% became less active vs. 5.1% who became more active; and (b) among active participants (APs), 49.9% became less active vs. 22.8% who became more active. Secondly, PA behavior was associated with higher well-being and sleep quality during the restrictions: (a) APs reported higher (or lower) levels of well-being and sleep quality (or anxiety) than did IPs; and (b) among IPs as well as among APs, the more active the participants, the greater (or lower) the levels of well-being and sleep quality (or anxiety).
CONCLUSIONS: This study showed the beneficial role of PA behavior for well-being, anxiety, and sleep quality during the COVID-19 restrictions, whereas such restrictions appeared to decrease PA participation. Active lifestyle should be then encouraged during the COVID-19 outbreak while taking precautions.Free PDF Download
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H.A. Akbari, M. Pourabbas, M. Yoosefi, W. Briki, S. Attaran, H. Mansoor, W. Moalla, M. Damak, I. Dergaa, A.L. Teixeira, J. Nauman, D.G. Behm, N.L. Bragazzi, H. Ben Saad, C.J. Lavie, A. Ghram
How physical activity behavior affected well-being, anxiety and sleep quality during COVID-19 restrictions in Iran
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 25 - N. 24