Author(s): AlEisa E, Buragadda S, Melam GR
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: Physical inactivity is common among Saudi females. Many variables are associated with different levels of mental health, including physical activity. This study was designed to determine the correlation between 3 weeks of improved physical activity and psychological factors such as insomnia, depression and attention span. METHODS: Seventy-six female students, of mean age 20.9 ± 1.4 years, were analyzed. Insomnia, depression and attention were subjectively assessed using the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Attention Span Test (AST), respectively. Each subject was given a pedometers and advised to walk at least 6000 steps per day for 3 weeks. Psychological status was assessed before and after the 3 weeks and compared using paired sample t-tests. Pearson correlation was used to determine the association between physical health and psychological factors. RESULTS: Improvements in scores on the ISI (from 7.22 ± 3.06 to 4.09 ± 2.80), BDI (from 8.88 ± 3.13 to 3.98 ± 2.74) and AST (from 63.86 ± 3.06 to 77.27 ± 11.33) were observed after 3 weeks. Physical activity was negatively correlated with ISI (r = -0.74) and BDI (r = -0. 78) and positively correlated with AST (r = 0.69). CONCLUSION: Improved physical activity can be useful in managing insomnia, depression and attention. In female Saudi students, higher levels of physical activity were associated with improved mental health.
This article was published in BMC Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy