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Tired of sitting : exploring the relationship between sedentary behaviour and fatigue in university students using experience sampling

Wingbermühle, J. (2021) Tired of sitting : exploring the relationship between sedentary behaviour and fatigue in university students using experience sampling.

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Abstract:During the last decade, students have been spending more and more time with sitting and laying down. This was reinforced by the Covid-19 pandemic from 2020. Previous research has shown that this behaviour - sedentary behaviour - increases mental states such as fatigue, which students are already prone to. Additionally, research in the last years has suggested that the mental activity of people while being sedentary may influence the relationship between sedentary time and mental health. It has been suggested that mentally passive behaviour may strengthen the relationship of sedentary time and depression, whereas mentally active behaviour may weaken it. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between sedentary time and state fatigue and the moderating influence of being either mentally passive or active while being sedentary was explored. An experience sampling self-report study was conducted over a period of nine days with 27 students from higher education (Mage = 21.3, SDage = 1.35 years, 66.6% female). Participants used the Ethica app and received four questionnaires per day, assessing their main mental state while being sedentary since the last measurement and their state fatigue. Additionally, every first questionnaire of a day measured the total sedentary time of the last 24 hours. Linear mixed models and estimated marginal means were employed to investigate the relationship between sedentary time and fatigue, and how this relationship was moderated by mental activity. Results: Sedentary time showed a weak positive relationship with state fatigue (B = 0.049, F(1,140) = 4.22, p = .042). The interaction between being mentally passive and sedentary also showed a weak positive relationship with fatigue (B = 0.111, F(1, 412) = 11.17, p = .001), whereas the interaction effect between being mentally active and sedentary decreased fatigue (B = -0.111, F(1, 412) = 11.17, p = .001). Being mentally passive alone decreased fatigue, whereas being mentally active alone increased fatigue. Sedentary time slightly increases fatigue. This relationship seems to be reinforced by being mentally passive and weakened by being mentally active. The separate relationship of mental activity was reverse to the interaction effect, suggesting that the underlying theoretical construct may benefit from treating fatigue as multidimensional. Further factors influencing the results, as well as strengths and limitations are discussed and future research suggested.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/87571
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