INTRODUCTION: Recently, the Spa stay, including facilities (e.g., swimming pools and gyms), and treatments, have been described as incrementing physical activity (PA), sleep quality, and, more generally, the quality of life [1, 2]. To date, no studies have investigated these aspects in sub-healthy subjects visiting Italian Spa; thus, the current study aims to shed light on leisure-time PA and sleep habits during a one-week stay at the Spa. METHODS: Eighty-eight participants (M=30, 30%; 64.1±10.9yrs) staying one week at GB-Hotels (Abano Terme, Italy) and undergoing thermal treatments filled in the Godin-Shepard Leisure-Time Physical Activity Questionnaire (GSL-TPAQ) and the Mini Sleep Questionnaire (MSQ) at the beginning and the end of the spa stay. Actigraph Motion Watch 8 (CamNtech) monitored the daytime activity, whereas the daily PA was recorded through a diary. Comparisons were adjusted for age, BMI, and sex. The current study was funded by FORST. RESULTS: During the Spa stay, the percentage of active subjects raised from 52% to 67% with a significant increase in the GSL-TPAQ score (before: 27.6±22.7 LSI; during: 40.3±30.1 LSI; p<0.001), indicating an increase of PA during the thermal stay. The percentage of participants with no sleep problems incremented from 32% to 48% during the Spa stay, with a significant decrease in the mean MSQ score (before: 30.3±10.3a.u.; during: 25.3±9.5 a.u.; p=0.001), indicative of better sleep quality. The questionnaires compiled at the end of the Spa stay showed that active and sufficiently active partici-pants tend to report better MSQ values than inactive subjects and that those with no sleep problems practised more PA than participants with moderate and severe sleep problems (even though without significance). Regarding the actigraphic data, moderate daytime activity reached 30% of the monitored time, followed by low (17%) and vigorous (1%) daytime activities. From the daily diaries, the most reported physical activities were: walking, swimming, gym use, and thermal-water gymnastics, with 500.3±402.7 minutes of PA in a week. CONCLUSION: A week of Spa stay and thermal treatments seemed to be effective in incrementing the PA and sleep quali-ty. Participants reported reaching the recommended 300 minutes of physical activity in a week. Leisure-time PA could be favoured by the resorts’ facilities, free time, and better predisposition of the participants to being active during the Spa stay. Sleep could improve thanks to the relaxing atmosphere, the effect of the hot water on body temperature and mud applications on cortisol’s circadian rhythm regulation.

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Journal: European college of sport science: book of abstracts 2023 (pp. 654-654)

Keywords: leisure-time PA, Physical Activity, Quality of life, Sleep, spa stay,

Applications: Sleep,

CamNtech Reference: M23037

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