Assessing Young Adults' Health Perceptions and Behaviors during COVID-19

Date
2022
Authors
Impelluso, Gabriele
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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted physical activity and mental health among young adults. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to assess young adults' health perceptions and behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Secondly, this study aims to identify factors associated with people who were able to remain physically active and maintain positive mental health during the pandemic. An online survey of 208 young adults was conducted from June to August 2022 to assess physical activity, mental health, COVID-19 perceptions and demographic characteristics. Logistic regression was used to determine predictors associated with people remaining physically active and simple linear regression was used to determine predictors of maintaining positive mental health. The majority of participants were male (60%), white (68%), and employed full-time (70%). Most participants (81%) met physical activity guidelines but also most participants (81%) reported high levels of depressed mood. Remaining physically active was significantly associated with perceiving COVID-19 as a lower threat (OR = .907, p = .019) and engaging in more COVID-19 preventive behaviors (OR = 1.14, p = .006). Positive mental health was significantly associated with perceiving COVID-19 as a higher threat (β = .234, p = .001), engaging in fewer stress management tactics (β = -.296, p = 0.00), and remaining physically active (β = 1.330, p = .016). Future research should examine how to promote the identified protective factors to offset the impacts of the pandemic and similar stressful circumstances young adults might face.

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Keywords
Physical activity, Mental health, Young adults
Citation
Department
Health and Kinesiology