Association Between Children’s and Parents’ Physical Activity During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Lagged Analysis

Click name to view affiliation

Monika Szpunar Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Program, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

Search for other papers by Monika Szpunar in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3054-1428
,
Matthew Bourke School of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

Search for other papers by Matthew Bourke in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7088-4516
,
Leigh M. Vanderloo School of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
ParticipACTION, Toronto, ON, Canada

Search for other papers by Leigh M. Vanderloo in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4621-3717
,
Brianne A. Bruijns School of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

Search for other papers by Brianne A. Bruijns in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0110-1674
,
Stephanie Truelove Member Interest Groups Section, Professional Development and Practice Support, College of Family Physicians of Canada, Mississauga, ON, Canada

Search for other papers by Stephanie Truelove in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0829-2514
,
Shauna M. Burke School of Health Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
Children’s Health Research Institute, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada

Search for other papers by Shauna M. Burke in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2749-1631
,
Jason Gilliland School of Health Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
Children’s Health Research Institute, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada
Department of Geography and Environment, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
Department of Pediatrics, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

Search for other papers by Jason Gilliland in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2909-2178
,
Jennifer D. Irwin School of Health Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

Search for other papers by Jennifer D. Irwin in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0219-4075
, and
Patricia Tucker School of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
Children’s Health Research Institute, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada

Search for other papers by Patricia Tucker in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8392-9418 *
Restricted access

Background: COVID-19 caused closures of movement supporting environments such as gyms and schools in Canada. This study evaluated the association between Ontario parents’ and children’s physical activity levels across time during COVID-19, controlling for variables that were identified as significant predictors of children’s and parents’ physical activity (e.g., children’s age, parents’ employment status). Methods: Parents (n = 243; mean age = 38.8 y) of children aged 12 and under (n = 408; mean age = 6.3 y) living in Ontario, Canada completed 2 online surveys, the first between August and December 2020 and the second between August and December 2021. At baseline, parents were asked to recall prepandemic physical activity levels. To determine the association between parent and child physical activity during COVID-19, a cross-lagged model was estimated to determine the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between parents’ and children’s physical activity across time. Results: Bivariate associations revealed that parents’ and children’s physical activity levels were significantly related during lockdown and postlockdown but not prelockdown. The autoregressive paths from prelockdown to during lockdown were significant for children (β = 0.53, P < .001) and parents (β = 1.058, P < .001) as were the autoregressive paths from during lockdown to postlockdown for children (β = 0.61, P < .001) and parents (β = 0.48, P < .001). In fully adjusted models, the cross-lagged association between parents’ physical activity prelockdowns was significantly positively associated with their children’s physical activity during lockdowns (β = 0.19, P = .013). Conclusions: Resources are needed to ensure that children and parents are obtaining sufficient levels of physical activity, particularly during a pandemic.

  • Collapse
  • Expand
  • 1.

    Warburton DER, Nicol CW, Bredin SSD. Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. Can Med Assoc J. 2006;174(6):801809. doi:10.1503/cmaj.051351

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Janssen I, Leblanc AG. Systematic review of the health benefits of physical activity and fitness in school-aged children and youth. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2010;7:40. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-7-40

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Poitras VJ, Gray CE, Borghese MM, et al. Systematic review of the relationships between objectively measured physical activity and health indicators in school-aged children and youth. Appl Physiol Nutr Metabol. 2016;41 (6)(suppl 3):S197S239. doi:10.1139/apnm-2015-0663

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Carson V, Chaput JP, Janssen I, Tremblay MS. Health associations with meeting new 24-hour movement guidelines for Canadian children and youth. Prev Med. 2017;95:713. doi:10.1016/J.YPMED.2016.12.005

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Chaput JP, Carson V, Gray C, et al. Importance of all movement behaviors in a 24 hour period for overall health. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014;11(12):1257512581. doi:10.3390/ijerph111212575

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Carson V, Lee EY, Hewitt L, et al. Systematic review of the relationships between physical activity and health indicators in the early years (0–4 years). BMC Public Health. 2017;17(5):854. doi:10.1186/s12889-017-4860-0

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Reiner M, Niermann C, Jekauc D, Woll A. Long-term health benefits of physical activity—a systematic review of longitudinal studies. BMC Public Health. 2013;13(1):813. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-813

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Sharma A, Madaan V, Petty FD. Exercise for mental health. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2006;8(2):106. doi:10.4088/PCC.V08N0208A

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9.

    The 2021 Adult Report Card | ParticipACTION. 2022. Accessed September 7, 2022. https://www.participaction.com/en-ca/resources/adult-report-card

  • 10.

    ParticipACTION. The 2020 participaction report card on physical activity for children and youth | ParticipACTION. 2020. Accessed May 19, 2022. https://www.participaction.com/en-ca/resources/children-and-youth-report-card

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Chaput JP, Colley RC, Aubert S, et al. Proportion of preschool-aged children meeting the Canadian 24-hour movement guidelines and associations with adiposity: results from the Canadian health measures survey. BMC Public Health. 2017;17(suppl 5):829. doi:10.1186/s12889-017-4854-y

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12.

    Barnes JD, Cameron C, Carson V, et al. Results from Canada’s 2018 report card on physical activity for children and youth. J Phys Act Health. 2018;15(s2):S328S330. doi:10.1123/JPAH.2018-0454

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    The Daily—Canadian Health Measures Survey: Activity Monitor Data, 2018–2019. 2022. Accessed September 8, 2022. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210901/dq210901c-eng.htm

  • 14.

    World Health Organization. Coronavirus (COVID-19) events as they happen. 2021. Accessed September 13, 2021. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    Government of Ontario. COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ontario. 2021. Accessed September 13, 2021. https://covid-19.ontario.ca/

  • 16.

    Szpunar M, Bourke M, Vanderloo LM, et al. Parent-reported changes in Ontario children’s physical activity levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. Children. 2023;10(2):221. doi:10.3390/CHILDREN10020221

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    Moore SA, Faulkner G, Rhodes RE, et al. Impact of the COVID-19 virus outbreak on movement and play behaviours of Canadian children and youth: a national survey. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2020;17(1):85. doi:10.1186/s12966-020-00987-8

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18.

    Szpunar M, Vanderloo LM, Bruijns BA, et al. Children and parents’ perspectives of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ontario children ’ s physical activity, play, and sport behaviours. BMC Public Health. 2021;21(1):2271. doi:10.1186/s12889-021-12344-w

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19.

    Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Canadian sedentary behaviour guidelines for children (12–17 Years). 2012.

  • 20.

    The Daily—Health Reports. 2022. Accessed October 13, 2022. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/220518/dq220518e-eng.htm

  • 21.

    Statistics Canada. Parent-Child association in physical activity and sedentary behaviour. 2022. Accessed October 13, 2022. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-003-x/2017006/article/14827-eng.htm

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 22.

    Gustafson SL, Rhodes RE. Parental correlates of physical activity in children and early adolescents. Sports Med. 2006;36(1):7997. doi:10.2165/00007256-200636010-00006

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23.

    Rhodes RE, Guerrero MD, Vanderloo LM, et al. Development of a consensus statement on the role of the family in the physical activity, sedentary, and sleep behaviours of children and youth. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2020;17(1):74. doi:10.1186/s12966-020-00973-0

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 24.

    Petersen TL, Møller LB, Brønd JC, Jepsen R, Grøntved A. Association between parent and child physical activity: a systematic review. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2020;17(1):67. doi:10.1186/S12966-020-00966-Z/FIGURES/2

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25.

    Loprinzi PD, Trost SG. Parental influences on physical activity behavior in preschool children. Prev Med. 2010;50(3):129133.

  • 26.

    Edwardson CL, Gorely T. Parental influences on different types and intensities of physical activity in youth: a systematic review. Psychol Sport Exerc. 2010;11(6):522535. doi:10.1016/J.PSYCHSPORT.2010.05.001

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 27.

    Jago R, Sebire SJ, Wood L, et al. Associations between objectively assessed child and parental physical activity: a cross-sectional study of families with 5–6 year old children. BMC Public Health. 2014;14:655. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-655

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28.

    Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (CFLRI). Bulletin 8: achieving sufficient steps per day among Canadian children and youth. 2023. Accessed February 14, 2023. https://cflri.ca/bulletin-8-achieving-sufficient-steps-day-among-canadian-children-and-youth

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29.

    US Census Bureau. Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).

  • 30.

    Kerr ML, Rasmussen HF, Fanning KA, Braaten SM. Parenting during COVID-19: a study of parents’ experiences across gender and income levels. Fam Relat. 2021;70(5):13271342. doi:10.1111/fare.12571

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 31.

    Moore SA, Vanderloo LM, Birkenmd CS, Rehman LA. Reimagining healthy movement in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can. 2022;42(4):125. doi:10.24095/HPCDP.42.4.01

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 32.

    Li X, Vanderloo LM, Maguire JL, et al. Public health preventive measures and child health behaviours during COVID-19: a cohort study. Can J Public Health. 2021;112(5):831842. doi:10.17269/S41997-021-00549-W

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 33.

    Telama R. Tracking of physical activity from childhood to adulthood: a review. Obes Facts. 2009;2(3):187195.

  • 34.

    Telford RM, Telford RD, Olive LS, Cochrane T, Davey R. Why are girls less physically active than boys? Findings from the LOOK longitudinal study. PLoS One. 2016;11(3):41. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0150041

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 35.

    IBM. SPSS Statistics—Canada | IBM. 2022. Accessed April 29, 2022. https://www.ibm.com/ca-en/products/spss-statistics

  • 36.

    Muthén LK, Muthén BO. Statistical Analysis With Latent Variables User’s Guide. Muthén & Muthén; 1998.

  • 37.

    Kuiper RM, Ryan O. Drawing conclusions from cross-lagged relationships: re-considering the role of the time-interval. Struct Equ Model. 2018;25(5):809823. doi:10.1080/10705511.2018.1431046

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 38.

    Bandalos DL. Relative performance of categorical diagonally weighted least squares and robust maximum likelihood estimation. Struct Equ Model. 2014;21(1):102116. doi:10.1080/10705511.2014.859510

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 39.

    Hu LT, Bentler PM. Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Struct Equ Model. 1999;6(1):118. doi:10.1080/10705519909540118

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 40.

    Colley RC, Wong SL, Garriguet D, Janssen I, Connor Gorber S, Tremblay MS. Physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep in Canadian children: parent-report versus direct measures and relative associations with health risk. Health Rep. 2012;23(2):4552.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 41.

    Oliver M, Schofield GM, Schluter PJ. Parent influences on preschoolers’ objectively assessed physical activity. J Sci Med Sport. 2010;13(4):403409. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2009.05.008

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 42.

    Thomson KC, Jenkins E, Gill R, et al. Impacts of the covid-19 pandemic on family mental health in Canada: findings from a multi-round cross-sectional study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(22):12080. doi:10.3390/IJERPH182212080/S1

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 43.

    Grant SJ, Beauchamp MR, Blanchard CM, et al. Parents and children active together: a randomized trial protocol examining motivational, regulatory, and habitual intervention approaches. BMC Public Health. 2020;20(1):465. doi:10.1186/S12889-020-09465-Z/FIGURES/2

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 44.

    Kari JT, Viinikainen J, Böckerman P, et al. Education leads to a more physically active lifestyle: evidence based on Mendelian randomization. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2020;30(7):11941204. doi:10.1111/SMS.13653

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 45.

    Merino-De Haro I, Mora-Gonzalez J, Cadenas-Sanchez C, et al. Higher socioeconomic status is related to healthier levels of fatness and fitness already at 3 to 5 years of age: The PREFIT project. J Sports Sci. 2018;37(12):13271337. doi:10.1080/02640414.2018.1558509

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 46.

    Ruedl G, Niedermeier M, Wimmer L, et al. Impact of parental education and physical activity on the long-term development of the physical fitness of primary school children: an observational study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(16):736. doi:10.3390/IJERPH18168736

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 47.

    Kwon S, Janz KF, Letuchy EM, Burns TL, Levy SM. Parental characteristic patterns associated with maintaining healthy physical activity behavior during childhood and adolescence. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016;13:383. doi:10.1186/s12966-016-0383-9

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 48.

    Vella SA, Cliff DP, Okely AD. Socio-ecological predictors of participation and dropout in organised sports during childhood. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2014;11:62. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-11-62

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 49.

    Moore SA, Faulkner G, Rhodes RE, et al. Few Canadian children and youth were meeting the 24-hour movement behaviour guidelines 6-months into the COVID-19 pandemic: follow-up from a national study. Appl Physiol Nutr Metabol. 2021;46(10):12251240. doi:10.1139/APNM-2021-0354/ASSET/IMAGES/APNM-2021-0354TABB4.GIF

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 50.

    Riddoch CJ, Andersen LB, Wedderkopp N, et al. Physical activity levels and patterns of 9- and 15-yr-old European children. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004;36(1):8692. doi:10.1249/01.MSS.0000106174.43932.92

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 51.

    Nader PR, Bradley RH, Houts RM, McRitchie SL, O’Brien M. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity from ages 9 to 15 years. JAMA. 2008;300(3):295305. doi:10.1001/jama.300.3.295

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 52.

    Troiano RP, Berrigan D, Dodd KW, Masse LC, Tilert T, McDowell M. Physical activity in the United States measured by accelerometer. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008;40:181188. doi:10.1249/mss.0b013e31815a51b3

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 53.

    Kuhn AP, Kowalski AJ, Wang Y, et al. On the move or barely moving? Age-related changes in physical activity, sedentary, and sleep behaviors by weekday/weekend following pandemic control policies. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;19(1):286. doi:10.3390/IJERPH19010286

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 54.

    Riazi NA, Wunderlich K, Gierc M, et al. “You can’t go to the park, you can’t go here, you can’t go there”: Exploring parental experiences of COVID-19 and its impact on their children’s movement behaviours. Children. 2021;8(3):219. doi:10.3390/children8030219

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 55.

    Schmidt SCE, Anedda B, Burchartz A, et al. Physical activity and screen time of children and adolescents before and during the COVID-19 lockdown in Germany: a natural experiment. Sci Rep. 2020;10(1):4. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-78438-4

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 56.

    Pelletier CA, Cornish K, Sanders C. Children’s independent mobility and physical activity during the covid-19 pandemic: a qualitative study with families. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(9):481. doi:10.3390/ijerph18094481

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 57.

    Marcum CS. Age differences in daily social activities. Res Aging. 2013;35(5):612. doi:10.1177/0164027512453468

  • 58.

    Guèvremont A, Kohen D, Findlay L. Do high levels of extracurricular activities help or hinder child development? Health Information and Research Division, Statistics Canada. http://en.copian.ca/library/research/ccl/do_high_levels_extracurricular/do_high_levels_extracurricular.pdf

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 59.

    Tulchin-Francis K, Stevens W, Gu X, et al. The impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on physical activity in U.S. children. J Sport Health Sci. 2021;10(3):323332. doi:10.1016/j.jshs.2021.02.005

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 60.

    Dunton GF, Do B, Wang SD. Early effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity and sedentary behavior in children living in the U.S. BMC Public Health. 2020;20(1):1351. doi:10.1186/s12889-020-09429-3

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 61.

    ParticipACTION. The 2020 Participaction Report card on physical activity for children and youth | ParticipACTION. 2020. Accessed May 18, 2022. https://www.participaction.com/en-ca/resources/children-and-youth-report-card

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 62.

    Strauss M, Przybylek B, Dworrak T, Dworrak B, Leischik R, Brzęk A. How does the activity level of the parents influence their children’s activity? The contemporary life in a world ruled by electronic devices. Arch Med Sci. 2018;14(1):190. doi:10.5114/AOMS.2018.72242

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 63.

    Guerrero MD, Vanderloo LM, Rhodes RE, Faulkner G, Moore SA, Tremblay MS. Canadian children’s and youth’s adherence to the 24-h movement guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic: a decision tree analysis. J Sport Health Sci. 2020;9(4):313. doi:10.1016/J.JSHS.2020.06.005

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 64.

    Okely AD, Kariippanon KE, Guan H, et al. Global effect of COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep among 3- to 5-year-old children: a longitudinal study of 14 countries. BMC Public Health. 2021;21(1):940. doi:10.1186/s12889-021-10852-3

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 65.

    Sfm C, Van Cauwenberg J, Maenhout L, Cardon G, Lambert EV, Van Dyck D. Inequality in physical activity, global trends by income inequality and gender in adults. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2020;17(1):39. doi:10.1186/S12966-020-01039-X/TABLES/2

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 66.

    Chang SH, Kim K. A review of factors limiting physical activity among young children from low-income families. J Exerc Rehabil. 2017;13(4):375377. doi:10.12965/jer.1735060.350

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 67.

    Armstrong S, Wong CA, Perrin E, Page S, Sibley L, Skinner A. Association of physical activity with income, race/ethnicity, and sex among adolescents and young adults in the united states: findings from the national health and nutrition examination survey, 2007–2016. JAMA Pediatrics. 2018;172(8):732740. doi:10.1001/JAMAPEDIATRICS.2018.1273

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 68.

    Westerterp KR. Assessment of physical activity: a critical appraisal. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009;105(6):823828. doi:10.1007/S00421-009-1000-2

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 69.

    Freedson P, Pober D, Janz KF. Calibration of accelerometer output for children. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005;37(suppl 11):284. doi:10.1249/01.MSS.0000185658.28284.BA

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 631 631 53
Full Text Views 52 52 1
PDF Downloads 59 59 1