The Relationship between Physical Activity, Sleep Quality, and Stress: A Study of Teachers during the COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19, mediating effect, physical activity, sleep, stress, teacher
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted chaotic changes in the daily lives of K-12 teachers, resulting in increased stress and other mental health problems. Limited evidence regarding the relationship between physical activity, sleep, and perceived stress among teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic exists. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the association between physical activity, sleep quality, and perceived psychological stress among teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. An online survey measuring physical activity, sleep quality, and perceived psychological stress was distributed across 47 US states between September and October of 2020. Data provided by 635 teachers (mean age: 42 ± 18 years, 74.6% female) were included in the present analysis. Results suggested a negative association between physical activity and perceived psychological stress. Mediation analyses indicated that teachers engaging in high levels of physical activity were more likely to have good quality sleep and, in turn, were less likely to report high levels of perceived stress. Physical activity and sleep-related interventions could help curtail the rising levels of psychological distress amongst K-12 teachers during stressful times such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers, especially those that self-report as female and/or young, report high levels of stress. These high levels of stress are a serious challenge for school districts in terms of attracting and retaining qualified teachers in K-12 classrooms.
Department of Kinesiology
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©2022 The Authors. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Fontana, Fabio; Bourbeau, Kelsey; Moriarty, Terence; and da Silva, Michael Pereira, "The Relationship between Physical Activity, Sleep Quality, and Stress: A Study of Teachers during the COVID-19 Pandemic" (2022). Faculty Publications. 5275.
First published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(23) e15465 (2022) published by MDPI. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192315465