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Healthcare (Basel) ; 10(4)2022 Apr 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776185


This study aimed to investigate the effects of short-term exercise, within the natural environment or by applying similar visual stimulation, on concentration and positive psychological capital among Korean college students. Participants were 175 male college students-selected by non-probabilistic sampling-from the Korean National Police University in Asan-si, Republic of Korea, in March 2021. Participants were divided into three condition groups: the natural environmental exposure with outdoor exercise (n = 57), visual stimulation with indoor exercise (n = 58), and indoor exercise (control group; n = 60). The variables measured were concentration and positive psychological capital. Pre- and post-exercise data differences were analyzed using two-way (3 × 2) analysis of variance and Pearson's correlation analysis, and statistical significance was set at 0.05. The results revealed a significant main effect on concentration, with lower scores post-intervention indicating positive changes in all three groups. In addition, the scores for positive psychological capital sub-factors (self-efficacy, optimism, and hope), in the groups with the natural environmental exposure with outdoor exercise and visual stimulation with indoor exercise conditions, reflected higher positive change than the indoor exercise group (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the Bonferroni post hoc test on this interaction effect revealed that the participant scores for the natural environmental exposure with outdoor exercise and visual stimulation with indoor exercise groups were positive after the exercise (p < 0.05). However, there was no interaction effect for the ego-resilience subscale (p > 0.05). Therefore, participating in short-term exercise while being exposed to a natural environment with healing characteristics or providing visual stimulation of a similar natural environment was found to positively impact the Korean college students' concentration and positive psychological capital's self-efficacy, optimism, and hope. Moreover, this particular intervention only affects subjective measures of well-being while not particularly influencing objective measures, such as cognitive functioning. We recommend implementing similar visual stimulation with indoor exercise for the current generation during the COVID-19 pandemic.