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Older Adults Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Mental Health Benefits of Physical Activity

Introduction

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a drastic change in people’s lifestyles across the world. Since the disease is infectious, deadly, and spreads quickly, different countries around the globe, including the United States, were forced to enact social distance guidelines (SDG) in order to combat the spread of the virus. The SDG mandated people to keep social distance, which required people to stay at home, work from home, and avoid social gatherings. Despite the guidelines reducing the rate of transmission of the virus, there was an increased risk of mental health associated problems among older adults due to social isolation (Creese et al., 2021). However, incorporating physical activities has been shown to reduce psychological distress in older adults, while other data show that it promotes mental health symptoms. The reason for choosing this article is to qualitatively identify the effect of physical activity on mental health among older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Procedure and Findings

An online survey was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada and United States. 1046 older adults above 50 years old were involved in the Qualtrics survey. During the surveying process, 136 questions were asked to collect the required data. The questions being asked revolved around current health status, geographical location, demographic information, and the effect of SDG on the state of social and physical isolation. The information gathered were validated using the Geriatric Anxiety Scale (GAS), Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), and Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE). The result shows that those who engaged in physical activity had less level of depression symptoms.

Data Analysis and Conclusion

Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to examine the impact of physical activity on anxiety and depression symptoms to interpret the data collected. The first step determined the correlation between three independent variables: age, sex, and education, and the dependent variable, which is the depression score. The second step incorporated PASE subscales, light, moderate, strenuous, vigorous physical activity, into the regression model. Light and vigorous intensity correlated with depression symptoms, while moderate physical activity showed no significance. However, there was no relationship between anxiety symptoms and physical activity. This indicates the discrepancy in the finding when compared to previous research.

References

Callow, D. D., Arnold-Nedimala, N. A., Jordan, L. S., Pena, G. S., Won, J., Woodard, J. L., & Smith, J. C. (2020). The mental health benefits of physical activity in older adults survive the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 28(10), 1046-1057. Web.

Creese, B., Khan, Z., Henley, W., O’Dwyer, S., Corbett, A., Da Silva, M. V.,… & Ballard, C. (2021). Loneliness, physical activity, and mental health during COVID-19: A longitudinal analysis of depression and anxiety in adults over 50 between 2015 and 2020. International Psychogeriatrics, 33(5), 505-514. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2023, January 22). Older Adults Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Mental Health Benefits of Physical Activity. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/older-adults-surviving-the-covid-19-pandemic-the-mental-health-benefits-of-physical-activity/

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StudyCorgi. (2023, January 22). Older Adults Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Mental Health Benefits of Physical Activity. https://studycorgi.com/older-adults-surviving-the-covid-19-pandemic-the-mental-health-benefits-of-physical-activity/

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"Older Adults Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Mental Health Benefits of Physical Activity." StudyCorgi, 22 Jan. 2023, studycorgi.com/older-adults-surviving-the-covid-19-pandemic-the-mental-health-benefits-of-physical-activity/.

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StudyCorgi. "Older Adults Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Mental Health Benefits of Physical Activity." January 22, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/older-adults-surviving-the-covid-19-pandemic-the-mental-health-benefits-of-physical-activity/.

References

StudyCorgi. 2023. "Older Adults Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Mental Health Benefits of Physical Activity." January 22, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/older-adults-surviving-the-covid-19-pandemic-the-mental-health-benefits-of-physical-activity/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2023) 'Older Adults Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Mental Health Benefits of Physical Activity'. 22 January.

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