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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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Physical activity of Slovak adolescents during the "Second wave" of Covid-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study

Stefan Adamcak; Pavol Bartik; Michal Marko

Published: January 2023   Journal: European Journal of Contemporary Education

An active participation in physical activity is associated with several elements of successful aging, including psychosocial health and well-being. Not getting enough physical activity and increased psychosocial health problems are observed worldwide especially during the first year of Covid-19 pandemic and for that reason, the present study was aimed at analyzing and comparing physical activity of Slovak adolescents during the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic. Standardized measure to estimate the habitual practice of physical activity (IPAQ-SF) was carried out through intentional sampling of 2375 Slovak adolescents (54.56 % of them adolescent girls), aged 17-19 years (mean 18.10 ± 0.60 years), attending the last year of grammar and vocational secondary schools of Slovakia. Basic descriptive statistics, chi-square test (χ2) and Two -Sample T-Test were used to analyze and compare the data.

Child flourishing, school engagement, physical activity and screen time during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020

Wei Lyu; George L. Wehby

Published: January 2023   Journal: ACADEMIC PEDIATRICS
This study aims to examine changes in flourishing, school engagement, physical activity, and recreational screen time among school-aged children in the United States during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020. In this cross-sectional study, data come from the 2018–2020 National Survey of Children's Health for 68,203 children aged 6 to 17 years. Flourishing is always/usually curious to learn, resilient and having self-regulation. School engagement is always/usually completing homework and having interest in doing well in school. Other outcomes are daily 60+ minutes physical activity or number of such days, and daily recreational screen time or 2+ hours/day. Weighted regression models compare 2020 to 2019 and 2019 to 2018 adjusting for child/household covariates and state indicators.
Impact of implementing and lifting COVID-19 lockdown on study and physical activity patterns among youths in China

Shujuan Yang; Wanqi Yu; Peng Jia

Published: January 2023   Journal: Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness

The youths’ study and physical activity (PA) patterns may have been affected by lockdown measures due to COVID-19. This study aimed to reveal how youths’ study and PA patterns had changed after implementing and lifting COVID-19 lockdown in China. The COVID-19 Impact on Lifestyle Change Survey (COINLICS) was used, where 10,082 youth participants have voluntarily reported their study and PA patterns in the three periods before, during, and after COVID-19 lockdown. PA was measured as the weekly frequency of engaging in active transport for commuting/errands, leisure-time walking, leisure-time moderate-/vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA), and moderate-/vigorous-intensity housework (MVH); study patterns were measured as the daily average study time and the major study modes.

Change in prevalence of hypertension among Korean children and adolescents during the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak: a population-based study

Kyungchul Song; Se Yong Jung; Juyeon Yang (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: Children
During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, the prevalence of obesity increased globally; this may be associated with hypertension incidence. However, investigations on the changes in the prevalence of hypertension among children and adolescents are limited. This cross-sectional study investigated the prevalence of hypertension among 1428 youths aged 10–18 years using data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2018–2020. We assessed the prevalence of hypertension according to sex, age, body mass index (BMI), and residential district. The prevalence of hypertension increased from 7.1% to 12.5% in all participants. In the sex-specific analysis, the prevalence was found to be increased in boys. In the age-specific analysis, the prevalence was found to be increased in youths aged 13–15 years. In the BMI-specific analysis, an increase in the prevalence was prominent in the normal BMI group. In the residential district-specific analysis, the prevalence of hypertension among youth increased in urban areas. Our results show that the prevalence of hypertension increased among Korean children and adolescents during the COVID-19 outbreak. These findings suggest the importance of close monitoring of hypertension among youth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Longitudinal changes in juvenile and adolescent body mass indices before, during, and after the COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand

Bruce Floyd; Heather T. Battles; Sophie White (et al.)

Published: January 2023   Journal: American Journal of Human Biology

This study uses longitudinal data from school children in Dunedin, New Zealand, to evaluate impacts of COVID-19 lockdown measures on changes in body mass (BMI, kg/m2). Impacts are assessed using two non-mutually exclusive hypotheses. The “structured days” hypothesis holds that children tend to alter sleep patterns, reduce activity and increase snacking when not in structured environments. The bidirectional hypothesis proposes that over-weight or obese children are predisposed to further gains in unstructured settings. Juveniles and adolescents (n = 95, 60% female) were recruited from Dunedin schools. Repeated measures analyses assessed variation in intra-individual change in BMI during four periods: P1 (before summer break), P2 (during summer break), P3 (during the COVID-19 lockdown), and P4 (after the lockdown ended). The model also examined if these changes were influenced by participants' sex or body size early in the first period assessed using log-transformed BMI, log-transformed weight, height, or lower leg length.

Lower daily steps among U.S. adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: objective findings from the adolescent brain cognitive development study

Jason M. Nagata; Jiayue Yu; Erin E. Dooley (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Preventive Medicine Reports
While the psychological and physical benefits of physical activity are well established, less than one quarter of US adolescents meet the physical activity guidelines recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services (60 min per day, seven days per week) (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2018). Furthermore, recent studies suggest that with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the proportion of adolescents meeting these guidelines fell to 9 % based on self-report (Nagata et al., 2022a). However, report-based physical activity measures are prone to measurement error (e.g., incomplete quantification) and information biases (e.g., recall). Objective measures such as step counts provide a continuous indicator of activity over multiple days. One worldwide study suggested a decrease in daily step count in adults early in the pandemic (Tison et al., 2020), but there is a paucity of objective data in US adolescents. The aim of this study was to quantify differences in step count before and during the COVID-19 pandemic among a demographically diverse national sample of adolescents.
Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the proportion of physically active children and adults worldwide: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Karima Chaabna; Sonia Chaabane; Anupama Jithesh (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Frontiers in Public Health

Safety measures implemented to address the COVID-19 pandemic have had a profound impact on the mobility of people worldwide. This study synthesized the global evidence on physical activity (PA) participation before and during the pandemic. It conducted a systematic review, searching PubMed, Embase, WHO Global literature on coronavirus disease (between January 2020 and April 2022), and reference lists. Meta-analysis and meta-regression were conducted to quantitatively synthesize the data.

Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 10 | No. of pages: 14 | Language: English | Topics: Health | Tags: COVID-19 response, lockdown, pandemic, physical activity, social distance
Cook like a Boss Online: an adapted intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic that effectively improved children's perceived cooking competence, movement competence and wellbeing

Lynsey Hollywood; Johann Issartel; David Gaul (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated physical inactivity, poor dietary intake and reduced mental wellbeing, contributing factors to non-communicable diseases in children. Cooking interventions are proposed as having a positive influence on children’s diet quality. Motor skills have been highlighted as essential for performance of cooking skills, and this movement may contribute to wellbeing. Additionally, perceived competence is a motivator for behaviour performance and thus important for understanding intervention effectiveness. Therefore, this research aimed to assess the effectiveness of an adapted virtual theory-based cooking intervention on perceived cooking competence, perceived movement competence and wellbeing. The effective theory-driven and co-created ‘Cook Like A Boss’ was adapted to a virtual five day camp-styled intervention, with 248 children across the island of Ireland participating during the pandemic. Pre- and post-intervention assessments of perceived cooking competence, perceived movement competence and wellbeing using validated measurements were completed through online surveys. Bivariate Correlations, paired samples t-tests and Hierarchical multiple regression modelling was conducted using SPSS to understand the relationships between the variables and the effect of the intervention.

Understanding disruptions to children's patterns of occupation and forms of occupational engagement during COVID-19 in Greece: an exploratory study

Sofia Zogogianni; Gail Whiteford; Panagiotis Siaperas

Published: December 2022   Journal: Journal of Occupational Science

Occupational engagement and participation is considered essential for children’s health, development, and social connectedness. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing government ordered restrictions in Greece, school aged children’s patterns of occupational engagement were altered. The purpose of this study was to explore the ways in which restrictions disrupted school aged children’s occupational patterns and the ways in which they engaged in chosen occupations in Greece during the first wave of COVID-19 in 2020. Two hundred and seventy-five children aged 6- to 12-years old completed the Children’s Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment (CAPE) online. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics to identify how the patterns of occupation and forms of occupational engagement changed during the COVID-19 related restrictions and whether age or gender could be correlated to any altered patterns identified.

Impact of COVID-19 infection control and prevention measures on physical-sports activity among adolescents in a rural population

Luis E. Fernández-Álvarez; Alejandro Carriedo; María Sánchez-Zafra (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation
The aim of this study was to analyse the changes related to the practice of physical-sports activities (P-SA) in adolescents owing to COVID-19 infection control and prevention measures. A total of 259 students (mean age=13.98±1.61 years) from a high school gave information on their physical-sports habits during the first year of the pandemic.
Prolonged body weight gain, lifestyle changes and health-related quality of life in children during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown: a follow-up study

María Ángeles Azrak; María Victoria Fasano; Ana Julia Avico (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Further investigation is needed to define the impact of long-term pandemic lockdown in children. This study aims to examine changes in body mass index z-score (zBMI), lifestyle, Health-Related Quality of Life and proportion of overweight or obesity (OW/OB) in 6- to 9-year-old children in Argentina. Observational study with baseline measurements prior to lockdown and follow-up after eight months of strict restrictive measures (November 2020, first visit, n = 144) and after ten months of partial reopening (September 2021, second visit, n = 108). Anthropometric changes from baseline to first visit in lockdown group (LG) were compared with a historical control group (HCG, n = 134). Follow-up visits included anthropometric measures, lifestyle questionnaire and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory.

Impact of the COVID-19 kindergarten closure on overweight and obesity among 3- to 7-year-old children

Xiang Long; Xing‑Ying Li; Hong Jiang (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: World Journal of Pediatrics

Knowledge on the impact of the temporary kindergarten closure policy under COVID-19 in 2020 on childhood overweight and obesity is inadequate. We aimed to examine differences in rates of overweight and obesity from 2018 to 2021 among kindergarten children aged 3–7 years. Overweight was defined as body mass index (BMI) > 1 standard deviation (SD) for age and sex, and obesity was defined as BMI > 2 SD for age and sex. Generalized linear mixed modeling was used for analysis.

Physical well-being of children and adolescents during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: findings from the "Come te la passi?" cross sectional survey in Bologna, Italy

Aurelia Salussolia; Jacopo Lenzi; Marco Montalti (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Children
The COVID-19 had a strong impact on the physical and general well-being of the youngest. In Italy, citizens were forced to change their habits, especially during the national lockdown, causing increased levels of sedentary and unhealthy behaviors. “Come te la passi?” was a cross-sectional study aimed at investigating changes in the physical activity levels (PA) and well-being of children and adolescents in the City of Bologna. An anonymous survey was administered to parents/guardians of children and adolescents aged 6–18 years. Results: 1134 questionnaires were collected during June 2021; 457 (40.3%) were females, and the mean age was 13.0 ± 3.4 years. Regarding the general well-being perception, 61.3% of the participants reported concerns about the future, 46.3% reported sleep difficulties, and 72.8% reported experiencing attention difficulty, with higher percentages among adolescents. Considering the PA frequency, an overall reduction was found, with the percentage of those who rarely did PA and those who frequently did PA both increasing. No gender differences were found.
Family predictors of physical activity change during the COVID-19 lockdown in preschool children in Germany

Franziska Beck; Stefen C. E. Schmidt; Alexander Woll (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Journal of Behavioral Medicine
The COVID-19 pandemic is associated with crucial changes in children’s daily life including their physical activity (PA) and screen time (ST). Among preschool children, the family represents an important factor for sufficient PA levels by being the gatekeeper for PA. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the family environment, specifically SES, parental support, and having siblings on COVID-19-related changes of PA and ST behavior in 317 (170 boys, 147 girls) German preschool children using longitudinal data.
Effects of COVID-19 related physical inactivity on motor skills in children with intellectual disability

Parisa Sedaghati; Esmail Balayi; Somayeh Ahmadabadi

Published: December 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

Children with intellectual disabilities (ID) may show declines in motor skills during the Covid-19 restrictions. This study compared the effects of physical inactivity due to COVID-19 on the motor skills of active and inactive children with ID. In this prospective cohort study, 30 boys with ID were divided into two groups based on study inclusion criteria (mean age 10.86 ± 1.81 active, 10.20 ± 1.42 inactive). The BESS test, the Y test, the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, and the Bruininks-Oseretsky test-short form were used.

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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.


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