The wellbeing of university students has long been a topic of interest, with growing concerns regarding the impact Higher Education can have on the mental and physical health of young adults. The recent Covid-19 pandemic has been a draining addition to the list of issues significantly impacting the quality of life and wellbeing of young adults. This research aims to identify how exactly the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the lives of university students in Scotland as well as understand if physical activity can be used as a method of mitigating these negative impacts. As issues around Covid-19 and its effect are still unfolding, this study presents a unique contribution at the cutting edge of research looking at how Covid-19 has impacted students’ lives in Scotland and if and how students themselves choose to manage their wellbeing through sport and exercise. In order to explore this analysis has been conducted on primary data from 310 university students across Scotland. As a result, important relationships have been acknowledged such as specific gendered differences in both wellbeing and anxiety with students who identify as female more significantly affected. Also, variances in wellbeing and anxiety were identified in different years of study, with students in younger years recording worse wellbeing and students near the end of the studies recording worse anxiety. Additionally, a strong, positive relationship was identified between subjective wellbeing and physical activity. However, this research also has its limitations, such as the fact that although the sample size was large enough to test for statistical significance, the sample of transgender and non-binary students was very small, leaving room for improvement through further, more detailed research on this issue. Furthermore, even though this research shows a mostly positive relationship between wellbeing and exercise, limited data shows a potentially negative relationship, requiring further investigation in this area. As a result, this project can be used as a foundation to further investigate and understand both the short-term and long-term impacts of Covid-19 on mental health and student wellbeing as well as how physical activity can be used as a method of improving ones physical and mental health.
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Konstantinou, A. 2022, 'Understanding how Covid-19 has impacted students’ wellbeing and if and how sport and exercise can help mitigate these effects', Master's Thesis University of Dundee. https://discovery.dundee.ac.uk/en/studentTheses/64cc7de6-36d3-4a1b-8b96-0c3aed2e49f5