Canadian children’s and youth’s adherence to the 24-h movement guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic: A decision tree analysis

Highlights

  • During the coronavirus disease-19 pandemic, 2.6% of children and youth met all 3 recommendations, 18.2% met the physical activity recommendation, 11.3% met the screen time recommendation, and 71.1% met the sleep recommendation.
  • High parental perceived capability to restrict children’s and youth’s screen time best predicted adherence to all movement recommendations as well as the screen time recommendation.
  • Changes in children’s and youth’s outdoor physical activity/sport since the coronavirus disease-19 pandemic best predicted adherence to the physical activity recommendation.
  • Changes in children’s and youth’s sleep duration since the coronavirus disease-19 pandemic best predicted adherence to the sleep recommendation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to use decision tree modeling to generate profiles of children and youth who were more and less likely to meet the Canadian 24-h movement guidelines during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

Methods

Data for this study were from a nationally representative sample of 1472 Canadian parents (Meanage = 45.12, SD = 7.55) of children (5–11 years old) or youth (12–17 years old). Data were collected in April 2020 via an online survey. Survey items assessed demographic, behavioral, social, micro-environmental, and macro-environmental characteristics. Four decision trees of adherence and non-adherence to all movement recommendations combined and each individual movement recommendation (physical activity (PA), screen time, and sleep) were generated.

Results

Results revealed specific combinations of adherence and non-adherence characteristics. Characteristics associated with adherence to the recommendation(s) included high parental perceived capability to restrict screen time, annual household income of ≥ CAD 100,000, increases in children’s and youth’s outdoor PA/sport since the COVID-19 outbreak began, being a boy, having parents younger than 43 years old, and small increases in children’s and youth’s sleep duration since the COVID-19 outbreak began. Characteristics associated with non-adherence to the recommendation(s) included low parental perceived capability to restrict screen time, youth aged 12–17 years, decreases in children’s and youth’s outdoor PA/sport since the COVID-19 outbreak began, primary residences located in all provinces except Quebec, low parental perceived capability to support children’s and youth’s sleep and PA, and annual household income of ≤ CAD 99,999.

Conclusion

Our results show that specific characteristics interact to contribute to (non)adherence to the movement behavior recommendations. Results highlight the importance of targeting parents’ perceived capability for the promotion of children’s and youth’s movement behaviors during challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, paying particular attention to enhancing parental perceived capability to restrict screen time.

Lead Researchers

  • Mark S. Tremblay

    Senior Scientist and Director, Healthy Active Living and Obesity, CHEO Research Institute

Link to Publication

Researchers

  1. Mark S. Tremblay

    Senior Scientist and Director, Healthy Active Living and Obesity, CHEO Research Institute

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