Physical activity, screen exposure and sleep among students during the pandemic of COVID-19.
Scientific reports. 2021;(1):8529
This study aimed to determine the levels of health-related behaviours (physical activity, screen exposure and sleep status) among Chinese students from primary, secondary and high schools during the pandemic of COVID-19, as well as their changes compared with their status before the pandemic. A cross-sectional online survey of 10,933 students was conducted among 10 schools in Guangzhou, China, between 8th and 15th March, 2020. After getting the informed consent from student's caregivers, an online questionnaire was designed and used to obtain time spending on health-related behaviours during the pandemic of COVID-19, as well as the changes compared with 3 months before the pandemic, which was completed by students themselves or their caregivers. Students were stratified by regions (urban, suburban, exurban), gender (boys and girls), and grades (lower grades of primary school, higher grades of primary schools, secondary schools and high schools). Data were expressed as number and percentages and Chi-square test was used to analyse difference between groups. Overall, the response rate of questionnaire was 95.3% (10,416/10,933). The median age of included students was 13.0 (10.0, 16.0) years and 50.1% (n = 5,219) were boys. 41.4%, 53.6% and 53.7% of total students reported less than 15 min per day in light, moderate and vigorous activities and 58.7% (n = 6,113) reported decreased participation in physical activity compared with the time before pandemic. Over 5 h of screen time spending on online study was reported by 44.6% (n = 4,649) of respondents, particular among high school students (81.0%). 76.9% of students reported increased screen time compared with the time before pandemic. Inadequate sleep was identified among 38.5% of students and the proportion was highest in high school students (56.9%). Our study indicated that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the school closure exerted tremendous negative effects on school-aged children's health habits, including less physical activity, longer screen exposure and irregular sleeping pattern.