Effects of a single bout of moderate-intensity, aerobic physical activity on social well-being in young adults: A multi-methods approach

Ben-Mayor, Mirjam. Effects of a single bout of moderate-intensity, aerobic physical activity on social well-being in young adults: A multi-methods approach. 2023, Master Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Medicine.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/96270/

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Background: The adverse consequences of loneliness and social isolation, encompassing heightened mortality risk and various mental and physical comorbidities, are widely recognized, yet research in sports science predominantly emphasizes physical and mental health aspects, leaving social well-being relatively unexplored. Moreover, the regulation of interpersonal space, governed by proximity principles, holds considerable significance in shaping social interactions, and physical activity may play a pivotal role in influencing these dynamics. This study seeks to address this research gap by investigating whether engaging in moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity can act as a preventive or alleviative measure against the emergence of a behavioral profile characterized by social withdrawal and loneliness among young adults.
Method: This study adopted a multi-methods research design and included a total of 36 young adults between the ages of 18 and 35 years. Participants were divided into intervention and control groups, with both groups undergoing baseline assessments using standardized questionnaires to gather demographic and confounding variable data. The intervention comprised a single bout of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (20min on a bicycle ergometer), while the control group was instructed to watch a neutral video (20min geological documentary film). Subsequently, two study designs were administered: a Proximity-Distance Enquiry and a Socioemotional State Survey. The Proximity-Distance Enquiry involved evaluating participants' preferred interpersonal distance, while the Socioemotional State Survey aimed to assess loneliness, sociality, self-esteem, as well as their inner desire for social engagement.
Results: Engaging in a single bout of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity led to a significant reduction in preferred interpersonal distance among young adults, indicating more prosocial behavior. The intervention also demonstrated a positive impact on the socioemotional state of participants compared to the control condition. Moreover, the factor analysis yielded statistically significant results in the factors of loneliness, sociality, and desire to socially interact with others, while self-esteem showed borderline significance within the intervention group and no significant difference between the control and intervention groups in between-group comparison.
Discussion: The findings of this paper have contributed to a more holistic and integrated understanding of the intricate and multifaceted relationship between social health and physical activity. Furthermore, the results of this study serve as a compelling foundation for placing increased emphasis on physical activity as a promising means to foster positive psychosocial health outcomes among young adults.
Advisors:Brand, Serge and Sadeghi-Bahmanid, Dena
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Sport, Bewegung und Gesundheit > Bereich Sportwissenschaft > Sport und psychosoziale Gesundheit (Gerber)
UniBasel Contributors:Brand, Serge
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Master Thesis
Thesis no:1
Thesis status:Complete
Last Modified:06 Feb 2024 05:30
Deposited On:05 Feb 2024 10:32

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