Globally the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has triggered an economic downturn and a rise in unemployment. As a result, global communities have had to face physical, health, psychological and socio-economical related stressors. The purpose of this study was to assess and report the impact of isolation and effect of coronavirus on selected psychological correlates associated with emotions. Following ethical approval, a mixed methods observational study was conducted using the validated COVISTRESS questionnaire. Two observational study scenarios were evaluated namely “Prior” to the COVID-19 outbreak and “Currently”, i.e., during the COVID-19 pandemic. 10,121 participants from 67 countries completed the COVISTRESS questionnaire. From the questionnaire responses only questions that covered the participant’s occupation; sociodemographic details, isolation and impact of coronavirus were selected. Further analyses were performed on output measures that included leisure time, physical activity, sedentary time and emotions. All output measures were evaluated using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) with an intensity ranging from 0–100. Descriptive statistics, Wilcoxon signed-rank test and Spearman correlational analysis were applied to the leisure time, physical activity, sedentary time and emotional feeling datasets; p = 0.05 was set as the significance level. Both males and females displayed similar output measures. The Wilcoxon signed rank test showed significant differences with respect to “Prior” COVID-19 and “Currently” for sedentary activity (Z = −40.462, p < 0.001), physical activity (Z = −30.751, p < 0.001) and all other emotional feeling output measures. A moderate correlation between “Prior” COVID-19 and “Currently” was observed among the Males (r = 0.720) in comparison to the Females (r = 0.639) for sedentary activity while weaker correlations (r < 0.253) were observed for physical activity and emotional feeling measurements, respectively. Our study reported incremental differences in the physical and psychological output measures reported, i.e., “Prior” COVID-19 and “Currently”. “Prior” COVID-19 and “Currently” participants increased their sedentary habits by 2.98%, and the level of physical activity reduced by 2.42%, depression levels increased by 21.62%, anxiety levels increased by 16.71%, and stress levels increased by 21.8%. There were no correlations (r) between leisure, physical activity and sedentary action (i.e., “Prior” = −0.071; “Currently” = −0.097); no correlations (r) between leisure physical activity and emotion (i.e., −0.071 > r > 0.081) for “Prior”; and poor correlations (r) between leisure, physical activity and sedentary action (i.e., −0.078 > r > 0.167) for “Current”. The correlations (r) between sedentary action and emotion for “Prior” and “Currently” were (−0.100 > r > 0.075) and (−0.040 > r > 0.041) respectively. The findings presented here indicate that the COVISTRESS project has created awareness in relation to the physical and psychological impact resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings have also highlighted individual distress caused by COVID-19 and associated health consequences for the global community.

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Ugbolue, U., Duclos, M., Urzeala, C., Berthon, M., Kulik, K., Bota, A., Thivel, D., Bagheri, R., Gu, Y., Baker, J., Andant, N., Periera, B., Rouffiac, K., Clinchamps, M. & Dutheil, F. 2020, 'An assessment of the novel COVISTRESS questionnaire: COVID-19 impact on physical activity, sedentary action and psychological emotion', Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(10), pp. 3352-3352. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9103352

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Last updated: 17 June 2022
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