Title

On the move or barely moving? Age-related changes in physical activity, sedentary, and sleep behaviors by weekday/weekend following pandemic control policies

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2022

Journal

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Volume

19

Issue

1

DOI

10.3390/ijerph19010286

Keywords

Children; COVID-19; Physical activity

Abstract

This study examined pre-pandemic (2017-early March 2020) to early-pandemic (Spring 2020) changes in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), light PA (LPA), and sedentary behavior/sleep (SS), by weekday/weekend, and age (preschool, elementary, middle school). We re-enrolled children from two pre-pandemic obesity prevention trials and examined differences in accelerometer-measured PA from pre-pandemic to early-pandemic across age groups using linear mixed models. Children (n = 75) were 51% multiple race/ethnicities, 29% preschool, 28% elementary, 43% middle school, 65% suburban, 21% rural, and 13% urban. Pre-pandemic to early-pandemic changes in weekday MVPA (p = 0.006), LPA (p = 0.018), and SS (p = 0.003) differed by age. On weekdays, middle schoolers’ MVPA decreased 15.36 min/day (p = 0.002) and SS increased 94.36 min/day (p < 0.001) with non-significant changes among preschoolers and elementary schoolers. Compared to elementary schoolers, middle schoolers’ changes in weekday MVPA (b = −16.34, p = 0.036) and SS (b = 63.28, p = 0.039) significantly differed. Declines in weekday MVPA and increases in SS among middle schoolers suggest that, compared with younger children, middle schoolers are dependent on school and recreational facilities for PA, and in their absence engage in more sedentary activities and sleep.

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