Device-Measured Change in Physical Activity in Primary School Children During the UK COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown: A Longitudinal Study.
Scales J., Chavda J., Ikeda E., Tsocheva I., Dove RE., Wood HE., Kalsi H., Colligan G., Griffiths L., Day B., Crichlow C., Keighley A., Fletcher M., Newby C., Tomini F., Balkwill F., Mihaylova B., Grigg J., Beevers S., Eldridge S., Sheikh A., Gauderman J., Kelly F., Randhawa G., Mudway IS., van Sluijs E., Griffiths CJ.
BackgroundLockdown measures, including school closures, due to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused widespread disruption to children's lives. The aim of this study was to explore the impact of a national lockdown on children's physical activity using seasonally matched accelerometry data.MethodsUsing a pre/post observational design, 179 children aged 8 to 11 years provided physical activity data measured using hip-worn triaxial accelerometers worn for 5 consecutive days prepandemic and during the January to March 2021 lockdown. Multilevel regression analyses adjusted for covariates were used to assess the impact of lockdown on time spent in sedentary and moderate to vigorous physical activity.ResultsA 10.8-minute reduction in daily time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity (standard error: 2.3 min/d, P < .001) and a 33.2-minute increase in daily sedentary activity (standard error: 5.5 min/d, P < .001) were observed during lockdown. This reflected a reduction in daily moderate to vigorous physical activity for those unable to attend school (-13.1 [2.3] min/d, P < .001) during lockdown, with no significant change for those who continued to attend school (0.4 [4.0] min/d, P < .925).ConclusionThese findings suggest that the loss of in-person schooling was the single largest impact on physical activity in this cohort of primary school children in London, Luton, and Dunstable, United Kingdom.