COVID-19 outbreak and physical activity in the Italian population: a cross-sectional analysis of the underlying psychosocial mechanisms
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Description: Italy is one of the first European epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic. In attempts to hinder the spread of the novel coronavirus disease, Italian government hardened protective measures, from quarantine to lockdown, impacting millions of lives dramatically. Amongst the enacted restrictions, all non-essential activities were prohibited as well as all outdoor activities banned. However, at the first spur of the outbreak, for about a dozen of days, physical and sports activities were permitted, while maintaining social distancing. In this timeframe, by administering measures coming from self-determination theory and theory of planned behavior and anxiety state, in an integrated approach, we investigated the prevalence of these activities by testing, via a Structural Equation Model, the influence of such psychosocial variables on the intention to preserve physical fitness during the healthcare emergency. Through an adequate fit of the hypothesized model and a multi-group analysis, we compared the most COVID-19 hit Italian region – Lombardy – to the rest of Italy, finding that [read the full article on Frontiers at the following link https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.02100/full]