University students’ overall and domain-specific physical activity during COVID-19: A cross-sectional study in seven ASEAN countries

Areekul Amornsriwatanakul, Hanif Abdul Rahman, Apichai Wattanapisit, Ira Nurmala, Ma Henrietta Teresa O. de la Cruz, Josip Car, Michael Chia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This research investigated the overall and domain-specific physical activity (PA) of university students in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. A cross-sectional study was applied to socioeconomic (SE) and PA online data collected from 15,366 students across 17 universities in seven Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. Statistical analyses using logistic regressions established SE–PA relationships. Over half (60.3%) of ASEAN university students met age-span specific PA guidelines. Students participated in recreational PA the most, followed by study-related activities and 44.1% of students engaged in >8 hrs/day of sedentary time (ST). Compared to students with a normal body mass index (BMI), students who were underweight (UW), overweight (OW), and obese (OB) respectively, had a 14% (UW odds ratio (OR) = 1.14, p = 0.005), 25% (OW OR = 1.25, p < 0.001), and 24% (OB OR = 1.24, p = 0.005) greater probability of meeting PA guidelines. Those who engaged in active transport and belonged to a sports club (SC) had 42% (SC OR = 0.58, p < 0.001, for both) less probability of meeting the PA guidelines, compared with those who travelled inactively and did not belong to a sports club, respectively. Students who participated in 4–6 sport or exercise activities had ten times more likelihood of meeting PA guidelines (OR = 10.15, p < 0.001), compared with those who did not play any sport or do any exercise. Students who spent >8 hrs/day of ST had 32% (ST OR = 0.68, p < 0.001) less probability of meeting PA guidelines, compared with those who spent <3 hrs of ST. These data showed that over half of ASEAN university students achieved PA guidelines and were highly sedentary during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recreational and study-related activities were important for students to maintain sufficient PA and should be actively promoted within the restrictions imposed during periods of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12466
JournalHeliyon
Volume8
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Lifestyle behavior
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary behavior
  • Young adults

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