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The Impact of COVID-19 on Division III Collegiate Student-Athletes

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of all collegiate practices and competitions. The following study explored how this disruption in athletic activity has influenced the collegiate student-athlete’s mental health. Student athletes at a Division III university were asked to complete a survey that gathered information regarding post-cancellation physical activity level and the student-athlete’s level of anxiety and depression related symptoms. Likert scales were used to quantify the level of physical activity whilst student-athletes self-reported mental health symptoms based on hand selected questions from the Beck Anxiety Inventory and Beck Depression Inventory. The results suggest that a lack of physical activity correlates with a higher reporting of depressive symptoms as compared to those who continued physical activity. There appears to be no significant correlation between a lack of physical activity and anxiety related symptoms. In conclusion, based on the surveyed population, it appears that while physical activity may help manage symptoms of depression, it may not be a factor for managing symptoms of anxiety.

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