Changes in health-related behaviours and mental health in a UK public sample during the first set of COVID-19 public health restrictions

Wilson, J.J., Smith, L., Yakkundi, A., Jacob, L., Martin, S., Grabovac, I., McDermott, D.T. ORCID: 0000-0001-7005-6446, López-Bueno, R., Barnett, Y. ORCID: 0000-0003-0271-2266, Butler, L.T., Schuch, F.B., Armstrong, N.C. and Tully, M.A., 2022. Changes in health-related behaviours and mental health in a UK public sample during the first set of COVID-19 public health restrictions. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. ISSN 1661-7827 (Forthcoming)

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Abstract

Public health restrictions, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, have had potentially wide-ranging, unintended effects on health-related behaviours such as diet and physical activity and also affected mental health due to reduced social interactions. This study explored how health-related behaviours and mental health were impacted in a sample of the UK public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two online surveys were administered in the UK, one within the first three months of the restrictions (Timepoints 1 (involving pre-pandemic recall) and 2) and another ten weeks later (Timepoint 3). Moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), sitting time, screen time and sexual activity were self-reported. Diet was assessed using the Dietary Instrument for Nutri-tion Education questionnaire. Mental health was measured using the short-form Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale and Becks’ Anxiety and Depression Inventories. Differences between timepoints were explored using the Friedman, Wilcoxon signed-rank, McNemar and McNemar-Bowker tests. 296 adults (74% under 65 years old; 65% female) provided data across all timepoints. Between T1 and T2, MVPA, time outdoors and sexual activity decreased while sitting and screen time increased (p<0.05). Between T2 and T3, saturated fat intake, MVPA, time out-doors, and mental wellbeing increased while sitting, screen time and anxiety symptoms decreased (p<0.05). This study found that depending on the level of COVID-19 public health restrictions in place, there appeared to be a varying impact on different health-related behaviours and mental health. As countries emerge from restrictions, it will be prudent to direct necessary resources to address these important public health issues.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Creators: Wilson, J.J., Smith, L., Yakkundi, A., Jacob, L., Martin, S., Grabovac, I., McDermott, D.T., López-Bueno, R., Barnett, Y., Butler, L.T., Schuch, F.B., Armstrong, N.C. and Tully, M.A.
Publisher: MDPI AG
Date: 24 March 2022
ISSN: 1661-7827
Identifiers:
NumberType
1531929Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 24 Mar 2022 10:19
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2022 10:19
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/45955

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