Limitations in the use of public spaces have impacted the frequency and duration of movement behaviours (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, sleep) and outdoor activities of children and adolescents. Whether pandemic-induced changes in movement behaviours are related to the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of children and adolescents is unknown. The aim of the current study was to examine the association between meeting 24 h movement guidelines and HRQoL during the COVID-19 lockdown among children and adolescents. Data from 1099 3–17-year-old children and adolescents from Spain and Brazil were analysed. An online questionnaire was used to collect parent-reported information concerning physical activity, screen time, and sleep duration. For the assessment of HRQoL, the EQ-5D-Y proxy version was used. The highest prevalence of reported problems was related to the ‘worries/sadness/unhappiness’ factor, where 36.3% of participants declared to have at least ‘some problems’. Participants meeting the 24 h guidelines had a higher HRQoL score compared with those who did not (91.9 ± 2.5 vs. 84.3 ± 0.5, respectively; p < 0.05). The current study shows that children and adolescents that met 24 h movement guidelines presented a higher HRQoL during the COVID-19 lockdown, providing support for the promotion of healthy movement behaviours—especially during a pandemic.
Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute