The following is excerpted from an online article posted by StudyFinds.
Although the World Health Organization says COVID-19 is no longer a global emergency, there’s another pandemic issue still causing problems — inactive kids. A new study finds the majority of children continue to spend too much time on the couch despite activity rates returning to pre-pandemic levels.
Researchers at the University of Bristol discovered that by the summer of 2022, only 41 percent of children in the United Kingdom were meeting the national recommended physical activity guidelines of an hour of exercise per day. Immediately after the pandemic, a mere 37 percent reached the target, which includes moderate-to-vigorous exercise — defined as activity that leaves children slightly hot, sweaty, and out of breath. Based on those figures, 59 percent of children are still lagging behind and way too inactive in the wake of COVID.
Although there has been a slight overall improvement, children have become more sedentary during the week, being physically inactive for an additional 13 minutes compared to the pandemic period.
Study authors measured the physical activity levels of 393 children between 10 and 11 years old between June and December 2021. They assessed an additional 436 children of the same age from January to July of the same year. The participants came from 28 schools in the Bristol area.
The children and a parent or caregiver wore an accelerometer, which measured the movements of the participants and completed a questionnaire. The team compared this data to pre-pandemic data collected from nearly 1,300 children and their parents from 50 schools in the same region.
The research is published in the journal International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity.