Daily activities in European children and adolescents during COVID-19 school closure: a longitudinal study exploring physical activity, use of screens, and sleep patterns

Mireia Orgilés, Elisa Delvecchio, Rita Francisco, Claudia Mazzeschi, Cristina Godinho, Marta Pedro, José P. Espada, Alexandra Morales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This longitudinal study aimed to analyze the evolution of patterns of daily activities (physical activity time, screen usage time, and sleep hours) in European youth during school closure due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Participants were 624 caregivers of children and adolescents aged 3–18 from Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Evaluations were online, and four time-points were considered: retrospective measurement of daily activities before confinement (T1), and two (T2), five (T3), and eight (T4) weeks after starting the lockdown. Generally accepted international guidelines on physical activity time, screen usage time, and hours of sleep by age group were used to determine whether the pattern might increase the risk for ill health or not. To estimate the evolution of daily activities, generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used. The percentage of children who practiced less than 60 min of daily exercise increased significantly from before home confinement (47.8%) to T2 (86.4%); it slightly decreased at T3 (79.8%), and remained stable at T4 (76.1%). The percentage of children who made excessive use of screens (according to their age group) significantly increased from T1 to T2 and remained stable and high in the rest of the evaluations. The percentage of children who slept fewer or more hours than recommended for their age group remained stable between T1 and T4, although there was a significant increase at T3. In general, results found unhealthier behaviors as confinement was extended. Results are discussed in order to find strategies for promoting healthy daily activities for future pandemics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-482
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Prevention
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Longitudinal
  • Physical activity
  • School closure
  • Screens
  • Sleep pattern
  • Youth

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Daily activities in European children and adolescents during COVID-19 school closure: a longitudinal study exploring physical activity, use of screens, and sleep patterns'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this