COVID-19 Children with less physical activity after lockdown: UK study

A new UK study found that children’s physical activity levels declined after the blockade of COVID-19 and, despite the relaxation of restrictions, did not return to pre-pandemic levels.

According to researchers at the University of Bristol, the level of physical activity in children has fallen below national guidelines following the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) pandemic.

By the end of 2021, even though restrictions were relaxed, only 36% of all children were in a nationally recommended physical activity guideline study (pdf) found.

There was no change in the level of physical activity of the parents, but the findings showed that on weekdays from April to December last year, children aged 10 to 11 participated in moderate to intense physical activity on average 56 minutes. Was shown.

On average, the amount of physical activity was reduced by about 8 minutes, or 13 percent, from pre-pandemic levels, according to researchers.

After the blockade, the children had less weekend activity than weekends and participated in 46 minutes of moderate to active physical activity during the day on weekends. This is about 8 minutes shorter than before the pandemic.

Studies have shown that sedentary time has also increased significantly, with some children tending to sit 25 minutes longer per day than before the pandemic.

Professor Russ Jago of the University of Bristol said: “It is surprising that the child’s level of physical activity declined after the pandemic, indicating that the change in physical activity pattern did not return to the previous level after the restoration of freedom.

“These findings increase the need to work with children, families, schools and communities to maximize their physical activity opportunities as they exit the COVID-19 pandemic. It shows that. “

The research team adopted a natural experiment design and asked children and their parents to wear accelerometers to measure the intensity of physical activity.

This study compared accelerometer data from 393 families collected between May and December 2021 with data collected from 1,296 pairs in the same school three years before the pandemic.

Ruth Salway, a statistician at the University of Bristol, said: “The main strength of this study is the use of the data collected before and after the pandemic in the same way and in the same school.

“The data clearly show that the child’s physical activity deteriorated when the restrictions were lifted.

“This emphasizes the importance of understanding how such habits change over time, so it is possible to introduce appropriate support and intervention when normality resumes. I can do it.”

PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan