Mark Tremblay was one of the authors on “Promoting healthy movement behaviours among children during the COVID-19 pandemic”. Using community mobility data from Google across 15 countries, the study compared data the week ending Feb 23, 2020, before the WHO pandemic announcement, with the week ending April 5, 2020, after a pandemic was declared.
The time spent in places associated with physical activity such as parks, beaches, and community gardens was down by 31%, and travel by public transport, which is also associated with physical activity, was down by 59%. Acknowledging that many parents are juggling reduced income, food insecurity, and working from home while supervising their children’s daily schooling, so movement behaviours might not be a priority. However, it’s believed that the pandemic provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the Global movement behaviour guidelines for children and to promote their uptake across all areas of society.
Senior Scientist and Director, Healthy Active Living and Obesity, CHEO Research Institute