A1 Journal article (refereed)
Continuity and Discontinuity of Sport and Exercise Type During the COVID-19 Pandemic : An Exploratory Study of Effects on Mood (2021)

Ronkainen, N. J., Pesola, A. J., Tikkanen, O., & Brand, R. (2021). Continuity and Discontinuity of Sport and Exercise Type During the COVID-19 Pandemic : An Exploratory Study of Effects on Mood. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, Article 622876. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.622876

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Ronkainen, Noora J.; Pesola, Arto J.; Tikkanen, Olli; Brand, Ralf

Journal or series: Frontiers in Psychology

eISSN: 1664-1078

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 12

Article number: 622876

Publisher: Frontiers Media

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.622876

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/74479


Involvement in sport and exercise not only provides participants with health benefits but can be an important aspect of living a meaningful life. The COVID-19 pandemic and the temporary cessation of public life in March/April/May 2020 came with restrictions, which probably also made it difficult, if not impossible, to participate in certain types of sport or exercise. Following the philosophical position that different types of sport and exercise offer different ways of “relating to the world,” this study explored (dis)continuity in the type of sport and exercise people practiced during the pandemic-related lockdown, and possible effects on mood. Data from a survey of 601 adult exercisers, collected shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak in Finland, were analyzed. Approximately one third (35%) of the participants changed their “worldmaking” and shifted to “I–Nature”-type activities. We observed worse mood during the pandemic in those who shifted from “I–Me,” compared to those who had preferred the “I–Nature” relation already before the pandemic and thus experienced continuity. The clouded mood of those experiencing discontinuity may be the result of a temporary loss of “feeling at home” in their new exercise life-world. However, further empirical investigation must follow, because the observed effect sizes were small.

Keywords: physical hobbies; exercise (people); unusual conditions; COVID-19; restrictions; mood; emotions; existential psychology

Free keywords: exercise behavior; being-in-the-world; lockdown; worldmaking; profile of mood states; existential philosophy; affect

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 14:10