Parents’ own movement behaviours can influence those of their children, thus contributing to the health and well-being of the whole family. Parents experienced a shift in work and childcare responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This may have led to a reduction in their healthy movements. This study examined the prevalence and correlates of meeting vs. not meeting the individual and combined recommendations within the Canadian 24-hour movement guidelines for adults among a sample of Canadian parents during the second wave (October 2020) of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parents of children aged 5–17 years (n = 1,477) responded to a cross-sectional survey conducted in October 2020. A total of 21 self-reported correlates, including parental and child demographics, and change in family movement behaviours/characteristics were assessed. Parental movement behaviours were reported and classified as meeting or not meeting each of the guidelines. Associations between correlates and meeting each of the guidelines were examined using multiple logistic regression.
The proportion of parents who met the moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), recreational screen time, sleep duration and combined guidelines were 21.2, 51.0, 66.1, and 9.1%, respectively. Being a parent ≥ 45 years old, having a university education, and higher levels of outdoor play were associated with meeting the combined guidelines. Age, dwelling type, family hobbies, and outdoor play were associated with meeting the MVPA recommendation. Employment status, education level, dog ownership, children’s age, family physical activity, and levels of distress were associated with meeting the recreational screen time recommendation. Geographical region, dwelling type, and levels of distress were associated with meeting the sleep duration recommendation.
Few Canadian parents were meeting the combined 24-hour movement guidelines recommendations for MVPA, recreational screen time, and sleep six months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Several socio-demographic, behavioural, and COVID-19-related factors emerged as significant correlates of meeting vs. not meeting the individual and/or combined recommendations within the guidelines. The findings provide various avenues for which to target future movement behaviour interventions and guideline adoption for parents.
Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute