USC leads Australian study into exercise during pandemic

Published:

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, said many people had experienced disruptions to their daily life 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 said.

“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.”

He said the research team was also eager to draw links between how changes to physical activity might impact on 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.

“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.

Dr Schaumberg said another goal of the study was 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 said.

“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.” 

Researchers are seeking 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 the restrictions are lifted. A link to the survey is at https://bit.ly/35mhmOQ  
 

 
Community Coronavirus COVID-19 Health & Wellness Science & Research Sport and Fitness Surveys & Your Say University & TAFE
Social:   

University Of The Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
07 5430 1234
University Of The Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Hashtag yoga: Study into effects of Instagram images on women 24 November 2020 | A lack of diversity in social media depictions of yoga has prompted a USC researcher to begin a study into the effect this might have on women’s body image and participation in yoga. More information...
Study: Who’s stealing the spanner crabs? 25 November 2020 | A USC study will determine if sharks are wrongly getting a bad rap for taking a bite out of Australia’s commercial spanner crab industry. More information...
High-tech sandbox to help farmers, USC students visualise water flow on land 23 November 2020 | It’s colourful, tactile and full of sand, but this box built by a USC Civil Engineering Honours student is far from a children’s toy. More information...
USC leads research into stocks of popular eating fish 12 November 2020 | Recreational and commercial fishers are being asked to play their part in important marine research by keeping an eye out for mahi mahi off the southern Queensland coastline that are sporting long orange ribbon... More information...
Anthology shines light on Creative Writing graduate 16 November 2020 | A USC 2018 Master’s graduate has taken her fascination with lighthouses to the next level as both editor and contributor to a newly published anthology focused on her favourite subject. More information...
Business leader is Outstanding Alumnus for 2020 15 October 2020 | Colin Vale of Caloundra, who graduated with a Master of Business Administration from the University in 2010 while leading the Anitua Group on Lihir Island in PNG, was among four winners announced today. More information...
USC social media class trends at Aus/NZ awards 14 October 2020 | The likes and positive comments are flowing for USC’s Social Media degree program after it gained high recognition at the 2020 Australian and New Zealand Social Media Marketing Awards. More information...
83% bushfire survival of endangered macadamia: USC research 01 October 2020 | USC-led research in Bulburin National Park, between Bundaberg and Gladstone, has recorded 83 percent survival of the wild population of an endangered native macadamia nut plant, following the 2019-20 summer... More information...
Research finds new way to help frail older people 30 September 2020 | A $6.9 million global research project involving USC as the only Australian partner has developed a new monitoring and intervention system to slow or even reverse the progression of frailty among older adults. More information...
Blue carbon focus for ocean-loving world champion 24 September 2020 | The coronavirus pandemic may have upset world champion stand-up paddleboarder Brianna Orams’ plans to compete in the sport’s 2020 Euro Tour – but the USC Environmental Science student refuses to see it as a... More information...


comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service