Search:



USC leads study into physical activity during COVID-19

Posted: 12pm 20 May 2020

Health science experts from USC have been chosen to lead the Australian arm of a study into how physical activity levels have been affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The collaborative international study will canvass how the changes may have affected people’s mental health and overall wellbeing in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Ireland and Australia.

Dr Daniel Wadsworth, Dr Mia Schaumberg and Associate Professor Chris Askew from USC are leading the Australian arm of the study and say the results will be used to help inform strategies to encourage physical activity during similar events in the future.

Dr Wadsworth, who is the chief investigator for the Australian research, says many people have experienced disruptions to their daily lives due to government restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“We will be interested to see how people have been affected in different ways,” Dr Wadsworth says.

“For example, someone normally commuting to work on their bike may find they are now exercising less, but for others the reverse might be true, and they now have more time to exercise with their family.”

Mental health and wellbeing

The research team is also eager to draw links between how changes to physical activity might affect mental health and wellbeing.

“Exercise is medicine. It reduces your risk of chronic diseases and improves mental health and it’s something that’s fairly easy to take up if it’s accessible,” Dr Wadsworth says.

“I’m particularly interested in how we can improve accessibility to exercise opportunities for different sectors of society, for the elderly for instance, in situations like this where restrictions are in place.

“If we can boost physical activity, at an individual level, we would see enhanced levels of wellbeing and at a societal level, we would see less burden of care, opening up resources to be directed where they are most needed.”

The team will also look into mental impacts such as depression and anxiety, following up with surveys after restrictions are lifted.

How countries differ

Dr Schaumberg says another goal is to compare how different levels of restrictions in each country had impacted people differently.

“It is going to be particularly interesting to look at whether Australians, who have experienced a lower level of restrictions than residents in the UK and New Zealand, have been more active during this period, or whether people are making the most of exercise opportunities when there are restrictions on how long they can be outside,” she says.

“This is the first time we have seen restrictions like this in place in these countries, so it is an important opportunity for us to understand how people can be supported to stay active for their mental and physical health in future periods of restriction.”

Get involved

USC researchers are looking for participants over 18 years of age to take part in a 10 to 15-minute online survey, that could lead to follow-up surveys once restrictions are lifted. A link to the survey is here.

Want to know more about the projects USC is involved in? Head to our blog.

#moretonbaytough

Share

Trending

Search on for $2 million Redcliffe winner

A Redcliffe resident or visitor to the Moreton Bay Region may have won $2 million in Saturday’s Gold Lotto draw.…

Charting the region’s economic path

He pioneered the Sunshine Coast’s first regional economic development strategy, now Paul Martins has taken on the challenge of transforming Moreton Bay Region’s economy.…

More you might like:

Trending

Local News   •   26-2-2021  •   Matt Rodin

Stories you might've missed...

Moreton Daily is live again on Facebook after an unplanned mini-break! In case you've missed out, here are the past week's top stories...…

Local News   •   26-2-2021  •   Nick Crockford

New school drop zone almost ready

Dropping-off and picking-up students at Mango Hill State School will soon be easier. A second drop-zone could be finished this week and open within days.…

Local News   •   25-2-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Olympics 2032: In the box seat

The Moreton Bay Region is perfectly positioned to host events and visitors if Brisbane gets the nod to host the 2032 Olympic Games. The bid moved a step closer to winning the race, with the International Olympic Committee’s executive board naming it the preferred candidate overnight.…

Local News   •   24-2-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Home stretch for track bid

Work on a synthetic running track at Deception Bay’s Zammit Oval could start within months with funding from the Federal and State Government’s locked in.…

Local News   •   23-2-2021  •   Kylie Knight

$3 million win is ‘life-changing’

A Moreton Bay man can’t wait to “see the whole world” after today discovering he’s won a $3 million Saturday Gold Lotto prize.…

Local News   •   23-2-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Foodies' events on the move

Tastes of Moreton Bay – a six-week long celebration of local produce and cuisine – is coming back in 2021 along with the Moreton Bay Food and Wine Festival.…

Your free local community newspaper, home delivered fortnightly.

Read Latest Edition

Close