Special Issue "Active and Healthy Confinement Lifestyle (AHCL): Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Be Better Prepared for Future Pandemics"

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Achraf Ammar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Sport Sciences, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany
Interests: sport sciences; sport nutrition; biomechanics; polyphenols; public health; elderly; cognitive functions; quarantine; pandemics; digital healthcare
Dr. Khaled Trabelsi
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
High Institute of Sport and Physical Education of Sfax, University of Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia
Interests: health; lifestyles; home confinement; physical activity; sleep
Prof. Dr. Mohamed Jmaiel
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Dr. Aimen Khacharem
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
1. UVHC-University Polytechnic Hauts-de-France, DeVisu, Valenciennes, France
2. LIRTES-EA 7313, UPEC-Université Paris Est Créteil Val de Marne, Créteil, France
Interests: cognitive psychology; differential psychology; sport psychology; teaching methods; educational technology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic means that many of us are staying at home and doing less in terms of social interactions and exercise. This can have a negative effect on our physical and mental health, as evidenced by previous multicenter studies (e.g., ECLB—COVID-19 survey).

In order to be well prepared for possible re-closing measures as well as for future pandemics, we invite researchers in public health, epidemiology, physical activity domain, psychology, biostatistics, sociology and computer science to submit high-quality empirical papers, systematic reviews or meta-analyses in the following areas:

- Investigating changes in lifestyle behaviors (e.g., physical activity, diet, sleep, social participation, etc.) during COVID‐19;

- Aiming to provide scientific data to help identify risk factors for psychosocial strain during the COVID-19 outbreak;

- Investigating the effect of different restriction levels on lifestyle behaviors and mental wellbeing;

- Investigating the effect of exercising and/or maintaining other confinement-healthy behaviors on physical and mental health;

- Dealing with reopening and/or reclosing measures and their effect on physical and mental health;

- Focusing on the application of digital technology to promote Active and Healthy Confinement Lifestyle (AHCL);

- Dealing with the potential of big data in promoting physical and mental health during pandemics;

- Discussing the design, implementation, and evaluation of behavioral and policy interventions aiming to address physical and mental health problems derived from the pandemic situation.

Dr. Achraf Ammar
Dr. Khaled Trabelsi
Prof. Dr. Mohamed Jmaiel
Dr. Aimen Khacharem
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Covid-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Pandemic
  • Epidemics
  • Health
  • Lifestyles
  • Wellbeing
  • Physical distancing
  • Home confinement
  • quarantine
  • self-isolation
  • Psychosocial strain
  • Mental health
  • Physical activity, Social participation
  • Cognitive
  • Sleep
  • Diet
  • Life satisfaction
  • information and communications technology (ICT)
  • digital health
  • Lifestyles
  • Big data
  • biostatistics

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Long-Term Psychological Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on Children in Jordan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7795; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18157795 - 22 Jul 2021
Viewed by 353
Abstract
Millions of children and adolescents have been affected worldwide by quarantine, school closures, and social distancing measures which have been implemented by many countries to control the spread of COVID-19. However, the long-term consequences of such procedures on children’s well-being are not clear. [...] Read more.
Millions of children and adolescents have been affected worldwide by quarantine, school closures, and social distancing measures which have been implemented by many countries to control the spread of COVID-19. However, the long-term consequences of such procedures on children’s well-being are not clear. Therefore, this study investigated the psychological impacts of COVID-19 on Jordanian children between the ages of 5–11 years old. A total of 1309 parents with children between the ages of 5 and 11 years old filled in an online survey that included a set of questions to measure their children’s behaviour and emotions before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being bored (77.5%), irritable (66%), likely to argue with the rest of the family (60.7%), nervous (54.8%), reluctant (54.2%), and lonely (52.4%) were the most frequently reported symptoms compared to the pre-COVID-19 period. Parents reported that screen use of ≥120 min a day was shown among 48.9% of children and 42% of children did <30 min a day of physical activity. ≤8 h of sleep per night was reported among 42.5% of children compared to pre COVID-19. The results emphasized the importance of developing preventative psychological programs to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s psychological well-being. Full article
Article
Dog Walking before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown: Experiences of UK Dog Owners
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6315; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18126315 - 10 Jun 2021
Viewed by 933
Abstract
Background: This study investigated the impacts of the first COVID-19 UK lockdown on dog walking and ownership. Methods: An online survey was circulated via social media (May–June 2020). Completed responses (n = 584) were analysed using within- and between-group comparisons, and multivariable linear [...] Read more.
Background: This study investigated the impacts of the first COVID-19 UK lockdown on dog walking and ownership. Methods: An online survey was circulated via social media (May–June 2020). Completed responses (n = 584) were analysed using within- and between-group comparisons, and multivariable linear and logistic regression models were created. Open-ended data were coded into key themes. Results: During lockdown, dogs were walked less frequently, yet for a similar duration per week and closer to home. Dogs whose owners lived alone, or whose owners or household members had heightened vulnerability to COVID-19 were walked less than before, as were high-energy dogs. A minority of owners continued dog walking despite exhibiting symptoms or needing to self-isolate, justifying lack of help, dog behavioural problems, living in less populated areas, and the importance of outdoor exercise for their mental health. Dog ownership had multiple benefits (companionship, purpose and motivation; break from bad; positive to focus on) as well as challenges (changes in dog behaviour, balancing dog needs with public health guidance, accessing pet food/supplies and services, and sharing crowded outdoor spaces with others). Most did not have an emergency care plan for their pet before the pandemic and only a handful developed one. Conclusions: Findings can be used to inform public health and dog welfare strategies for future lockdown situations or other disasters and emergencies likely to impact on daily routines. Full article
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Article
Four Weeks of Detraining Induced by COVID-19 Reverse Cardiac Improvements from Eight Weeks of Fitness-Dance Training in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5930; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18115930 - 31 May 2021
Viewed by 898
Abstract
Physical training is considered as a low-cost intervention to generate cardioprotective benefits and to promote physical and mental health, while reducing the severity of acute respiratory infection symptoms in older adults. However, lockdown measures during COVID-19 have limited people’s opportunity to exercise regularly. [...] Read more.
Physical training is considered as a low-cost intervention to generate cardioprotective benefits and to promote physical and mental health, while reducing the severity of acute respiratory infection symptoms in older adults. However, lockdown measures during COVID-19 have limited people’s opportunity to exercise regularly. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of eight weeks of Fitness and Dance training, followed by four weeks of COVID-19-induced detraining, on cardiac adaptations and physical performance indicators in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Twelve older adults (6 males and 6 females) with MCI (age, 73 ± 4.4 y; body mass, 75.3 ± 6.4 kg; height, 172 ± 8 cm; MMSE score: 24–27) participated in eight weeks of a combined Fitness-Dance training intervention (two sessions/week) followed by four weeks of training cessation induced by COVID-19 lockdowns. Wireless Polar Team Pro and Polar heart rate sensors (H10) were used to monitor covered distance, speed, heart rate (HR min, avg and max), time in HR zone 1 to 5, strenuousness (load score), beat-to-beat interval (max RR and avg RR) and heart rate variability (HRV-RMSSD). One-way ANOVA was used to analyze the data of the three test sessions (T1: first training session, T2: last training session of the eight-week training program, and T3: first training session after the four-week training cessation). Statistical analysis showed that eight weeks of combined Fitness-Dance training induced beneficial cardiac adaptations by decreasing HR (HR min, HR avg and HR max) with p < 0.001, ES = 0.5–0.6 and Δ = −7 to−9 bpm, and increasing HRV related responses (max and avg RR and RMSSD), with p < 0.01 and ES = 0.4. Consequently, participants spent more time in comfortable HR zones (e.g., p < 0.0005; ES = 0.7; Δ = 25% for HR zone 1) and showed reduced strenuousness (p = 0.02, Δ = −15% for load score), despite the higher covered total distance and average speed (p < 0.01; ES = 0.4). However, these changes were reversed after only four weeks of COVID-19 induced detraining, with values of all parameters returning to their baseline levels. In conclusion, eight weeks of combined Fitness-Dance training seems to be an efficient strategy to promote cardioprotective benefits in older adults with MCI. Importantly, to maintain these health benefits, training has to be continued and detraining periods should be reduced. During a pandemic, home-based exercise programs may provide an effective and efficient alternative of physical training. Full article
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Article
Sleep Quality and Physical Activity as Predictors of Mental Wellbeing Variance in Older Adults during COVID-19 Lockdown: ECLB COVID-19 International Online Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4329; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18084329 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1409
Abstract
Background. The COVID-19 lockdown could engender disruption to lifestyle behaviors, thus impairing mental wellbeing in the general population. This study investigated whether sociodemographic variables, changes in physical activity, and sleep quality from pre- to during lockdown were predictors of change in mental wellbeing [...] Read more.
Background. The COVID-19 lockdown could engender disruption to lifestyle behaviors, thus impairing mental wellbeing in the general population. This study investigated whether sociodemographic variables, changes in physical activity, and sleep quality from pre- to during lockdown were predictors of change in mental wellbeing in quarantined older adults. Methods. A 12-week international online survey was launched in 14 languages on 6 April 2020. Forty-one research institutions from Europe, Western-Asia, North-Africa, and the Americas, promoted the survey. The survey was presented in a differential format with questions related to responses “pre” and “during” the lockdown period. Participants responded to the Short Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) questionnaire, and the short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Results. Replies from older adults (aged >55 years, n = 517), mainly from Europe (50.1%), Western-Asia (6.8%), America (30%), and North-Africa (9.3%) were analyzed. The COVID-19 lockdown led to significantly decreased mental wellbeing, sleep quality, and total physical activity energy expenditure levels (all p < 0.001). Regression analysis showed that the change in total PSQI score and total physical activity energy expenditure (F(2, 514) = 66.41 p < 0.001) were significant predictors of the decrease in mental wellbeing from pre- to during lockdown (p < 0.001, R2: 0.20). Conclusion. COVID-19 lockdown deleteriously affected physical activity and sleep patterns. Furthermore, change in the total PSQI score and total physical activity energy expenditure were significant predictors for the decrease in mental wellbeing. Full article
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Article
Distance Motor Learning during the COVID-19 Induced Confinement: Video Feedback with a Pedagogical Activity Improves the Snatch Technique in Young Athletes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3069; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18063069 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 952
Abstract
The purpose of the present study was to investigate which of two strategies, Video Feedback with Pedagogical Activity (VF-PA) or Video Feedback (VF), would be more beneficial for the remote error correction of the snatch weightlifting technique during the confinement period. Thirty-five school [...] Read more.
The purpose of the present study was to investigate which of two strategies, Video Feedback with Pedagogical Activity (VF-PA) or Video Feedback (VF), would be more beneficial for the remote error correction of the snatch weightlifting technique during the confinement period. Thirty-five school aged children with at least three months of weightlifting experience were randomized to one of three training conditions: VF-PA, VF or the Control group (CONT). Subjects underwent test sessions one week before (T0) and one day after (T1) a six-session training period and a retention test session a week later (T2). During each test session, the Kinovea version 0.8.15 software measured the kinematic parameters of the snatch performance. Following distance learning sessions (T1), the VF-PA improved various kinematic parameters (i.e., barbell horizontal displacements, maximum height, looping and symmetry) compared with T0 (p < 0.5; Cohen’s d = 0.58–1.1). Most of these improvements were maintained during the retention test (T2) (p<0.01, Cohen’s d = 1.2–1.3) when compared withT0. However, the VF group improved only twoparameters (i.e., barbell symmetry and horizontal displacement) at T1 (p < 0.05; Cohen’s d = 0.9), which were not maintained at T2. Better horizontal displacement and looping values were registered during the retention test in the VF-PA group compared with theCONT group (p < 0.05, Cohen’s d = 1.49–1.52). The present findings suggest combining video feedback with pedagogical activity during the pandemic induced online coaching or physical education to improve movement learning in school aged children. Full article
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Article
Effect of COVID-19-Related Home Confinement on Sleep Quality, Screen Time and Physical Activity in Tunisian Boys and Girls: A Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3065; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18063065 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1112
Abstract
COVID-19 home confinement has led to a stressful situation for children around the world and affected their lifestyle. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of these restrictions on sleep quality, screen time (ST) and physical activity (PA) in Tunisian children with [...] Read more.
COVID-19 home confinement has led to a stressful situation for children around the world and affected their lifestyle. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of these restrictions on sleep quality, screen time (ST) and physical activity (PA) in Tunisian children with a special focus on gender differences. An online survey was launched in April 2020. Questions were presented in a differential format, with expected responses related to “before” and “during” confinement. Participants (52 boys and 48 girls, age: 8.66 ± 3.3 years) responded to the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the digital media use, and the Ricci and Gagnon sedentary behavior questionnaires. Findings revealed that COVID19 home confinement had a negative effect on all the considered parameters (p < 0.05). Significant effects of gender were found on sleep disturbances (p = 0.016, np2 = 0.05), subjective sleep quality (p < 0.01, np2 = 0.07), global score of PSQI (p = 0.01, np2 = 0.01) and nocturnal and global screen time (p < 0.001, np2 = 0.09) with poorer sleep and higher screen time in girls compared to boys during home confinement. A significant correlation was shown between Global ST and PSQI score (r = 0.39, p < 0.001). Programs of PA for children and sensitization campaigns against the use of screens have been deemed urgent with special focus oriented to girls. Full article
Article
Psychosocial Effects and Use of Communication Technologies during Home Confinement in the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy and The Netherlands
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2619; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18052619 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1283
Abstract
(1) Background: The COVID-19 pandemic forced people from all around the globe to strongly modify their daily routines, putting a significant strain on the social aspects of daily lives. While the first wave of the pandemic was a very challenging time in all [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The COVID-19 pandemic forced people from all around the globe to strongly modify their daily routines, putting a significant strain on the social aspects of daily lives. While the first wave of the pandemic was a very challenging time in all countries, it is still uncertain whether various lockdown intensities and infection rates differed regarding their psychosocial impact. This work therefore aimed to investigate (i) the psychosocial effects of home confinement in two European countries that underwent different lockdown intensities: Italy and the Netherlands and (ii) the role of communication technology in relation to feelings of loneliness. (2) Methods: A cross-sectional online survey inquiring about different psychosocial variables and the use of and satisfaction towards communication technology was circulated among the general public during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 629 participants (66% female, 68% from the Netherlands) answered each question twice, referring to “before” and “during” the pandemic. (3) Results: We found significant negative effects of COVID-19 home confinement on depressive feelings (p < 0.001, %∆ = +54%), loneliness (p < 0.001, %∆ = +37.3%), life satisfaction (p < 0.001, %∆ = −19.8%) and mental wellbeing (p < 0.001, %∆ = −10.6%) which were accompanied with a significantly increased need for psychosocial support (p < 0.001, %∆ = +17.3%). However, the magnitude of psychosocial impact did not significantly differ between residents undergoing a more intense (Italy) versus a less intense (Netherlands) lockdown, although the decrease in social participation was found to be significantly different for both countries (z = −7.714, p < 0.001). Furthermore, our findings demonstrate that the increase in loneliness was associated with the adoption of new digital communication tools (r = 0.21, p < 0.001), and significantly higher for individuals who started to adopt at least one new digital communication tool during confinement than for those who did not (z = −4.252, p < 0.001). (4) Conclusions: This study highlights that, although COVID-19 home confinement significantly impacted psychosocial wellbeing during the first wave of the pandemic, this impact did not differ based on lockdown intensity. Recognizing the increasing adoption of digital communication technology in an attempt to reduce lockdown loneliness, future studies should investigate what is needed from the technology to achieve this effect. Full article
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