Time spent outdoors and physical activity (PA) promote mental health. To confirm this relationship in the aftermath of COVID-19 lockdowns, we explored individual levels of anxiety, depression, stress and subjective well-being (SWB) in a cohort of academic students and staff members and tested their association with sport practice, PA at leisure time and time spent outdoors. Our cross-sectional study collected data during the COVID-19 outbreak (April–May 2021) on 939 students and on 238 employees, who completed an online survey on sociodemographic and lifestyle features, depression, anxiety, stress, and SWB. Results showed that the students exhibited higher levels of anxiety, depression, and stress, and lower levels of SWB (p < 0.001 for all domains) compared to the staff members. Correlation analysis confirmed that PA and time spent in nature were associated to high mental health scores among staff and, more consistently, among students. Finally, mediation analyses indicated that the time spent in nature, social relationships, and levels of energy play a mediator role in the relationship between sport practice and SWB. Our evidence reinforces the protective role of time spent in nature in improving mental health, and provides support for policymakers to make appropriate choices for a better management of COVID-19 pandemic consequences.

Assessment of Subjective Well-Being in a Cohort of University Students and Staff Members: Association with Physical Activity and Outdoor Leisure Time during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Levante, Annalisa
;
Lecciso, Flavia;Calabriso, Nadia;Damiano, Fabrizio;Siculella, Luisa;Massaro, Marika
2022-01-01

Abstract

Time spent outdoors and physical activity (PA) promote mental health. To confirm this relationship in the aftermath of COVID-19 lockdowns, we explored individual levels of anxiety, depression, stress and subjective well-being (SWB) in a cohort of academic students and staff members and tested their association with sport practice, PA at leisure time and time spent outdoors. Our cross-sectional study collected data during the COVID-19 outbreak (April–May 2021) on 939 students and on 238 employees, who completed an online survey on sociodemographic and lifestyle features, depression, anxiety, stress, and SWB. Results showed that the students exhibited higher levels of anxiety, depression, and stress, and lower levels of SWB (p < 0.001 for all domains) compared to the staff members. Correlation analysis confirmed that PA and time spent in nature were associated to high mental health scores among staff and, more consistently, among students. Finally, mediation analyses indicated that the time spent in nature, social relationships, and levels of energy play a mediator role in the relationship between sport practice and SWB. Our evidence reinforces the protective role of time spent in nature in improving mental health, and provides support for policymakers to make appropriate choices for a better management of COVID-19 pandemic consequences.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
ijerph-19-04787-v2.pdf

accesso aperto

Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 1.54 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.54 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11587/467272
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 3
social impact