Akbari HA, Yoosefi M, Pourabbas M, Weiss K, Knechtle B, Vancini RL, Trakada G, Ben Saad H, Lavie CJ, Ghram A
COVID-19 restrictions are associated with poor physical-activity (PA). Less is known about the relationship between the combination of these restrictions with Ramadan intermittent fasting (RIF), PA, mental health, and sleep-quality. The present study aimed to evaluate whether COVID-19 restrictions and RIF during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran are associated with poor PA, anxiety, well-being, and sleep-quality outcomes. A total of 510 individuals participated in an online questionnaire that was disseminated to adults (>= 18 years) residing in Iran from 13 May 2021 to 16 May 2021 (similar to 3 days), just after the end of Ramadan 2021. PA behavior (Godin-Shephard Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire), anxiety (General Anxiety Disorder-7), well-being (Mental Health Continuum-Short Form), and sleep-quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index). Of 510 individuals included in the study (331 female (64.9%); mean +/- SD, 31 +/- 12 years), 172 (33.7%) reported less PA during the Ramadan 2021. PA was associated with better well-being and sleep-quality outcomes. Regardless of PA, participants who fasted for all of Ramadan had less anxiety and better well-being outcomes than those who fasted part of Ramadan or did not fast at all. However, the fasting part of Ramadan decreased the sleep-quality of active participants. The Ramadan 2021 was associated with poor PA, well-being, and sleep-quality of Iranians. However, PA was associated with better well-being and sleep-quality outcomes, and those who fasted all Ramadan had better anxiety and well-being outcomes. Therefore, PA during Ramadan might be an essential and scalable mental health resilience builder during COVID-19 restrictions which should be encouraged.