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Associations of moderate to vigorous physical activity and sedentary behavior with depressive and anxiety symptoms in self-isolating people during the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional survey in Brazil




Anxiety, COVID-19, Depression, Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, Self-Isolation


Objective: To evaluate the associations of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), vigorous physical activity (VPA), moderate physical activity (MPA), and sedentary behavior (SB) with depressive, anxiety, and co-occurring depressive and anxiety symptoms (D&A) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil.
Methods: Cross-sectional online survey in self-isolating people. Self-reported MVPA, VPA, MPA, and SB (exposures), and depressive and anxiety symptoms (Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories [BDI and BAI]) were collected. Associations of MVPA, VPA, MPA, and SB with prevalent depressive (BDI>9), anxiety (BAI>7), and D&A (BDI>9+BAI>7) symptoms were investigated using logistic regressions, presented as odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95%CI). Linear regressions were performed testing associations with symptom severity. Models were adjusted for confounding factors. Results: Participants (n=937, females=72.3%) performing ≥30min/day MVPA or ≥15min/day VPA had lower odds of prevalent depressive (ORMVPA=0.71, 95%CI=0.53-0.96; ORVPA=0.60, 95%CI=0.43-0.82), anxiety (ORMVPA=0.71, 95%CI=0.54-0.96; ORVPA=0.70, 95%CI=0.51-0.96), and co-occurring D&A symptoms (ORMVPA=0.71, 95%CI=0.52-0.96; ORVPA=0.59, 95%CI=0.41-0.83). People spending ≥10h/day sedentary were more likely to have depressive symptoms (OR=1.39,95%CI=1.02-1.90). Each hour spent sedentary corresponded to 0.22 (95%CI=0.10-0.33) points and 0.16 (95%CI=0.02-0.31) points higher on the BDI and BAI, respectively.
Conclusion: Higher MVPA and VPA levels are associated with lower odds of depressive, anxiety and D&A symptoms. Higher SB is associated with higher odds of depressive symptoms.


2020-05-21 — Updated on 2020-05-22



Health Sciences