Children moved less during quarantine – here’s how to get them moving again | Science-environment

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  Children moved less during quarantine - here's how to get them moving again |  Science-environment

Lockdowns during the pandemic were aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 and related deaths. However, these blockages also affected the activity of people. Children have become much more inactive.

There is a risk that short-term changes in children’s physical activity in response to COVID-19 could extend beyond the duration of the pandemic. Habits are very easy to instill, and a more sedentary and less physically active lifestyle becomes normal and ingrained in young people.

However, there are ways to encourage kids to be more active. These include getting the whole family involved in physical activity and incorporating exercise into the daily routine.

A global trend Research from around the world has examined how COVID-19 restrictions have affected children and their levels of physical activity.

Canadian researchers conducted an online survey of 1,472 parents of young adults during COVID-19 restrictions. They found that only 4.8% of children aged 5 to 11 met Canada’s 24-hour travel guidelines, which includes an hour of moderate or vigorous physical activity per day. Among young people aged 12 to 17, only 0.6% qualified.

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Another study involved 211 parents of American children aged 5 to 13. During the pandemic, children were found to spend about 90 minutes a day sitting at school and an additional eight hours a day sitting for entertainment.

The study, conducted in Shanghai, China, compared the activity levels of 2,426 young people aged six to 17 before and during the pandemic. It found that, overall, the amount of time young people spend on physical activity has dropped dramatically, from about nine hours a week to less than two hours a week. Screen time has increased by an average of about 30 hours a week.

Italy had a similar story. The researchers compared the behavior of a group of 41 obese children both before the pandemic and three weeks after the introduction of a nationwide quarantine in Italy. The time children spent playing sports has decreased during the pandemic, while sleep and screen time has increased.

Get moving Given the many physical and psychological benefits of increased physical activity, children should be given plenty of opportunities and encouraged to be physically active.

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Family involvement plays an important role in children’s activity levels. Encouragement from parents and parents taking part in physical activity with their children is associated with higher physical activity and child play indoors and outdoors.

Research has also shown that having a pet dog can encourage children to be active.

One way to respond to COVID-related uncertainty is to develop a routine and structure for children. Fostering a sense of predictability at home can go a long way in helping children deal with the uncertainty of the world. Regular weekend family outings, extracurricular activities, or physical education classes can be a really rewarding way to help kids feel secure and cared for.

One way kids enjoy staying active is by attending classes ranging from dancing to swimming to football. During the quarantine, these classes had to be stopped, but now many of them have reopened. They are a great way for kids to socialize as well as keep fit.

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However, for some people, these activities are no longer suitable. Some activities may be closed permanently, or families may have less disposable income than before the pandemic. Parents may be concerned that their children are attending classes with other children.

Parental anxiety can affect children’s physical activity. Children of parents who were more anxious in Canada visited the park less frequently during the pandemic than children of less anxious parents.

During the quarantine, the cancellation of sports and recreational activities has inspired programs offering online fitness classes for children. This is a great way to give kids the opportunity to be physically active at home in situations where their parents might not feel comfortable attending the large classes they attended before the pandemic.

It is very important for children to be physically active and to abandon the sedentary lifestyle that continues into adulthood.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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