Development of an Online Mind-Body Physical Activity Intervention for Young Adults during COVID-19: A Pilot Study

Author: Ildiko Strehli1, Ryan D Burns1, Yang Bai1, Donna H Ziegenfuss2, Martin E Block3, Timothy A Brusseau1
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Department of Health and Kinesiology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA. <sup>2</sup> Marriot Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA. <sup>3</sup> Department of Kinesiology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA.
Conference/Journal: Int J Environ Res Public Health
Date published: 2023 Mar 4
Other: Volume ID: 20 , Issue ID: 5 , Pages: 4562 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3390/ijerph20054562. , Word Count: 217

The purpose of this study was to examine the association between the implementation of an online mind-body physical activity (MBPA) intervention and physical activity (PA), stress, and well-being in young adults during COVID-19. The participants were a sample of college students (N = 21; 81% female). The MBPA intervention was organized in four online modules that were administered asynchronously for 8 weeks with three separate 10 min sessions per week. The intervention components consisted of traditional deep breathing, diaphragm mindful breathing, yoga poses, and walking meditation. Objective PA behaviors were assessed using wrist-worn ActiGraph accelerometers, and stress and well-being data were collected using validated self-report instruments. A 2 (sex) × 3 (time) doubly multivariate analysis of variance test with a univariate follow-up showed that the % of wear time in light (LPA) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was significantly higher at the end of the intervention compared to baseline (LPA mean difference = 11.3%, p = 0.003, d = 0.70; MVPA mean difference = 2.9%, p < 0.001, d = 0.56). No significant differences were observed for perceived stress and well-being, and there was no moderating effect of sex. The MBPA intervention showed promise, as it was associated with higher PA in young adults during COVID-19. No improvements were observed for stress and well-being. These results warrant further testing of the intervention's effectiveness using larger samples.

Keywords: affect; exercise; mental health; yoga; young adult.

PMID: 36901572 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph20054562