Physical activity and sleep quality in relation to mental health among college students

  • Amer K. Ghrouz
  • Majumi Mohamad NoohuEmail author
  • Md. Dilshad Manzar
  • David Warren Spence
  • Ahmed S. BaHammam
  • Seithikurippu R. Pandi-Perumal
Psychiatrics • Original Article



To examine the associations and interactive effects of physical activity and sleep quality on mental health among Indian college students.


A cross-sectional study was conducted among Indian college students. The sociodemographic data and body mass index were obtained from a convenience sample of 617 college students, age range from 18 to 30 years, including both genders (314 men, 51%). All participants completed three questionnaires: the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form, and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Questionnaires were evaluated to ascertain the subjects’ mental health level, physical activity level, and sleep quality. Analyses were conducted with binary logistic regression models.


The mean (± S.D.) anxiety and depression scores were 9.3 ± 4.4 and 7.4 ± 2.5 respectively, with anxiety and depression scores ranging from 0 to 20 and 0–17, respectively.

The prevalence of anxiety (30%) was more than that of depression (18%). Out of the total participants, 51% reported having low physical activity levels, and 51% had poor sleep quality. Odds ratio calculations indicated that the participants physical activity levels (moderate and high) were significantly and inversely associated with scores for anxiety (OR = 0.16 and 0.96; p = 0.001) and for depression (OR = 0.11 and 0.96; p = 0.001).The poor sleep quality was significantly positively associated with anxiety (OR = 1.38) and depression OR = 1.58 (p = 0.001).


Mental health problems are common among both male and female college students. Significant associations were found between physical activity levels and sleep quality with mental health.


Mental health Physical activity level Sleep quality College students 



Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), New Delhi, provided the facilities for carrying out the investigation but no funding was received in any other form.

Compliance with ethical standards

The study was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee (IEC) of JMI New Delhi.

Conflict of interest

None of the authors have any conflict of interests to be disclosed with respect to this study.

Informed consent information

All the participants gave written informed consent before enrolment into the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation SciencesJamia Millia Islamia (A Central University)New DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Nursing, College of Applied Medical SciencesMajmaah UniversityAl MajmaahSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Independent ResearcherTorontoCanada
  4. 4.The University Sleep Disorders Center, College of MedicineKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  5. 5.National Plan for Science and Technology, College of MedicineKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  6. 6.Somnogen Canada IncTorontoCanada

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