CHANGES IN MENTAL HEALTH AND SATISFACTION WITH LIFE DURING PHYSICAL INACTIVITY INDUCED BY BED REST EXPERIMENT

Tjaša Dimec Časar, Matej Tušak, Petra Dolenc

Abstract


Simulated weightlessness by bed rest model represents an important method to study the consequences of physical inactivity and sedentarism on the human body. The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of prolonged physical inactivity on psychological distress, depressive symptoms and satisfaction with life of healthy male adults. Participants were ten volunteers, aged between 21 and 28 years who were subjected to a 35-day head-down bed rest. Psychological state of the participants was measured with the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). Participants completed psychological inventories before, during and after the experiment. The results revealed no significant differences in mental health and satisfaction with life of participants following the head-down bed rest, however there was a tendency towards an increase in neurotic and depressive symptoms at the end of the experiment. The obtained results are interpreted in the light of stimulative living conditions in which the experiment was carried out, as well as the amount and quality of social interactions during the period of extended physical inactivity.


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