The Effects of Virtual Training in Psychological Wellbeing During the Lockdown: A Positive Psychology Intervention
Keywords:PERMA, well-being, Covid-19, training, exercise, positive psychology
The rapid expansion of the Covid-19 pandemic led countries to develop a range number of measures, including social distancing. Previous studies (Chiesa et al., 2021; Fountoulakis et al., 2021; Skapinakis et al., 2020) have shown the negative psychological and well-being effects, of such measures, on society. On the contrary, the importance and positive effects of exercise on psychological health is well established during the last decades (Raglin, 1990). At the same time, Seligman has presented well-being as a result of five factors that make up the acronym PERMA: Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, meaning and accomplishment. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of online exercise on psychological health and well-being, during a period of social distancing. The online program was attended by 20 novice subjects, aged 18-45 years, free of injury or other disease. The study took place for 6 weeks, and the online training was applied 3 times a week. The PERMAProfiler questionnaire (Butler & Kern, 2016) was used for the measurement, which was sent via online forms three times (pre, mid, post of the intervention) and measured the five factors of the model as well as the subjective perceptions of loneliness, physical health and happiness. The results were then analysed using the package SPSS 24.0. The analysis of repeated measures (repeated measures ANOVA) for each dependent variable (Kim, 2017), showed statistically significant differences and specifically: reduction of loneliness (F1,19 = 15.76, p < .001) and negative emotions (F1,19 = 10.73, p < .001), increase in commitment (Friedman test = 10.44, p < .01) and increase in achievement (Friedman test = 16.89, p < .001).In conclusion, the study showed the positive effects of exercise on the psychological health and well-being, even when applied on an online environment. The findings reinforce the use of exercise as a technique of intervention of positive psychology (Hefferon & Mutrie, 2012) with the aim of enhancing well-being and improving human life.