Prevalence Study of the Risk for Idiopathic Fatigue Among University Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic


Rashad1, M. A. H. Al-Gafri2, N. Mohd Shaffiar3, M. Hamid4

Department of Manufacturing and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, International Islamic University Malaysia, Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia1,2,3,4


Abstract: Ever since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was announced as a pandemic by the start of 2020, countries have adopted a quarantine system where citizens were urged to work and study from home. In order to adapt to this new norm, university students nowadays spend most of their time at home either studying or doing housework while not engaging in enough physical activity. This is suspected to increase the risk of developing idiopathic chronic fatigue which is a condition where the affected suffer from bouts of fatigue without engaging in any physical exertion. Currently, there are no available prevalence studies regarding the risk of idiopathic chronic fatigue among university students during this period of COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, this study was made with the following objectives in order to address this issue: (i) To determine the prevalence of idiopathic fatigue syndrome among university students during the COVID-19 Pandemic by using the students’ physical activity level as an indicator. (ii) To determine the correlation between the credit hours registered and students’ physical activity level. (iii) To determine the correlation between students’ physical activity level and idiopathic chronic fatigue. The objectives were fulfilled with the usage of an adjusted form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) which was distributed via online platforms. 169 respondents participated in the study where they were asked to report on their physical activity during the previous seven days prior to filling the questionnaire. It was found that respondents who have failed to achieve at least a moderate level of physical activity have shown a strong correlation with the prevalence of idiopathic fatigue thus confirming that the lack of adequate physical activity could lead to the development of idiopathic fatigue. This study will contribute information regarding the largely unknown causes and preventions of idiopathic fatigue which serves the community’s health and well-being contributing to the 3rd goal of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).