CHANGES IN AMERICANS’ EXERCISE (MINUTES/WEEK) AND ANXIETY LEVELS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC RELATIVE TO LOCKDOWN: RESULTS OF A NATIONWIDE CROSS-SECTIONAL SURVEY
AdvisorKillgore, William D. "Scott"
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe Covid-19 pandemic affected humans throughout the world, impacting perceptions of anxiety, depression, loneliness, as well as having an impact on income, exercise, school/work life, and more. Although anxiety has always been a prominent mental health concern among many American adults, anxiety levels profoundly increased as stay at home lockdowns were issued. Here I review prior research regarding the relationship between anxiety and exercise, and in a novel analysis of cross-sectional data I investigated these variables during the first 13 months of the COVID-19 pandemic where participants responded to a nationwide cross-sectional survey. After excluding outliers, I analyzed the changes in both total weekly exercise minutes and anxiety as measured by the GAD7 anxiety scale with respect to each month of the pandemic-starting in April 2020 and ending in April 2021. I report statistically significant change in outcome variables of both anxiety and total weekly exercise minutes as a function of administration month (p < 0.001). I also found an interaction between weekly exercise minutes, administration month, and lockdown status. Participants who responded “yes” to being under a state of lockdown tended to exercise more than those who responded that they were not under lockdown. Finally, I report finding a negative correlation with statistical significance between anxiety and exercise minutes per week (p < 0.001), however the R2 value of this regression is relatively small at 0.013. This work builds on other general work describing the relationship between exercise and anxiety but uniquely shows the temporal changes in both anxiety and exercise in the United States over the first year of a global pandemic.
Degree ProgramNeuroscience and Cognitive Science