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Effect of physical activity during COVID-19 on the sleep health of community-level athletes in Australia

Walsh, A., Harris, S., Beranek, P., Vial, S., Cruickshank, T. and Turner, M. (2022) Effect of physical activity during COVID-19 on the sleep health of community-level athletes in Australia. Sport Sciences for Health .

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The COVID-19 outbreak presents a serious health challenges, with Australia enforcing tight restrictions, impacting sporting activities and sleep health of many Australians. Routine lifestyle patterns (physical activity and employment) are important to maintaining overall sleep health. Current literature indicates COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected the employment status and sport engagement. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of physical activity during COVID-19 on sleep health, and its association with employment and sport engagement of community-level athletes throughout Australia. Participants self-reported sleep health prior to COVID-19 (pre-sleep) and over the month prior to data collection (during-sleep) using the validated 5-item Satisfaction Alertness Timing Efficiency and Duration questionnaire (SATED). Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test assessed the difference in pre- and during perceived sleep health scores. A generalized linear model was used to assess the impact of sporting and demographic factors on a community athlete’s change in perceived sleep health score. A total of 139 community-level Australian athletes responded. The majority of participants were aged 18–30 and engaged in full-time employment prior to COVID-19 (n = 82, 54%). Eight percent of participants were unemployed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (n = 12, 8%). Our findings show that sleep health values were higher during COVID-19, with 91.4% of respondents able to maintain some form of physical activity during the pandemic. Together, our results show better sleep health scores reported by the respondents who maintained or lost employment and maintained sporting engagements during the pandemic.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Harry Butler Institute
Publisher: Springer
Copyright: © 2022 The Authors.
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