Few Canadian children and youth were meeting the 24-hour movement behaviour guidelines 6-months into the COVID-19 pandemic: Follow-up from a national study

Abstract: Daily life has changed for families due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this repeated cross-sectional study
was to describe movement behaviours in Canadian children and youth 6 months into the pandemic (T2; October 2020) compared with the start of the pandemic (T1, April 2020). An online survey was distributed to parents (N = 1568) of children and/
or youth (5–17 years; 58% girls) in October 2020. The survey assessed changes in movement behaviours (physical activity and
play, sedentary behaviours, and sleep) from before the pandemic to October 2020 (T2). We compared these data with spring
data (T1; April 2020; Moore et al. 2020; Int. J. Behav. Nutr. Phys. Act, 17:85) collected using identical methodology (N = 1472;
54% girls). We report correlations between movement behaviours and relevant parental factors and provide word frequency
distributions for open-ended responses. During the second wave, 4.5% of children (4.6% girls; 4.3% boys) and 1.9% of youth
(1.3% girls, 2.4% boys) met the movement guidelines (3.1% overall). Whereas, during the first wave, 4.8% (2.8% girls, 6.5%
boys) of children and 0.6% (0.8% girls, 0.5% boys) of youth were meeting combined guidelines (2.6% overall). Parental support
was correlated with their child’s movement behaviours (T1 and T2). Our study demonstrates the ongoing challenges for children and youth to engage in healthy movement during the pandemic.

Lead Researchers

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  1. Mark S. Tremblay

    Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

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