en
Scientific article
Open access
English

The association between physical activity and mental health during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review

Published inBMC public health, vol. 22, no. 1
Publication date2022-02-01
First online date2022-02-01
Abstract

Abstract Introduction

The Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic affected countries worldwide and has changed peoples’ lives. A reduction in physical activity and increased mental health problems were observed, mainly in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, this systematic review aims to examine the association between physical activity and mental health during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods

In July 2021, a search was applied to PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Eligibility criteria included cross-sectional, prospective, and longitudinal study designs and studies published in English; outcomes included physical activity and mental health (e.g., depressive symptoms, anxiety, positive and negative effects, well-being).

Results

Thirty-one studies were included in this review. Overall, the studies suggested that higher physical activity is associated with higher well-being, quality of life as well as lower depressive symptoms, anxiety, and stress, independently of age. There was no consensus for the optimal physical activity level for mitigating negative mental symptoms, neither for the frequency nor for the type of physical activity. Women were more vulnerable to mental health changes and men were more susceptive to physical activity changes.

Conclusion

Physical activity has been a good and effective choice to mitigate the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health policies should alert for possibilities to increase physical activity during the stay-at-home order in many countries worldwide.

eng
Keywords
  • Anxiety
  • Exercise
  • Mental health
  • Pandemic
  • SARS CoV-2
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
MARCONCIN, Priscila et al. The association between physical activity and mental health during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review. In: BMC public health, 2022, vol. 22, n° 1. doi: 10.1186/s12889-022-12590-6
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Article (Published version)
Identifiers
ISSN of the journal1471-2458
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Technical informations

Creation11/21/2022 10:36:00 AM
First validation11/21/2022 10:36:00 AM
Update time03/16/2023 9:07:07 AM
Status update03/16/2023 9:07:06 AM
Last indexation02/01/2024 9:14:33 AM
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