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Associations Between Changes in 24-Hour Movement Behaviors in Children and Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review and Mediation-Based Meta-Analysis

Ross D. Neville, William G. Hopkins, Brae Anne McArthur, Catherine E. Draper, and Sheri Madigan

Background: Although 24-hour movement behaviors are known to be interconnected, limited knowledge exists about whether change in one behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic (eg, increased screen time) was associated with change in another (eg, reduced physical activity or sleep). This review estimates mediational associations between changes in children’s physical activity, screen time, and sleep during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We included studies published between January 1, 2020 and June 27, 2022, in the PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science databases. Summary data were extracted from included studies and analyzed with random-effects meta-regression. Results: This review included 26 studies representing 18,959 children across 18 mid-high-income countries (53% male; mean age, 11.5 [2.9] y). There was very good evidence of decreased total daily physical activity (factor change, 0.62; 90% CI, 0.47–0.81) and strong evidence of increased screen time (1.56; 90% CI, 1.38–1.77). There was very good evidence of decreased moderate to vigorous physical activity (0.75; 90% CI, 0.62–0.90) and weak evidence of increased sleep (1.02; 90% CI, 1.00–1.04). Mediational analysis revealed strong evidence that most of the reduction in total daily physical activity from before, to during, the pandemic was associated with increased screen time (0.53; 90% CI, 0.42–0.67). We observed no further mediational associations. Conclusion: Increased reliance on and use of screen-based devices during the COVID-19 pandemic can be linked with reduced child and adolescent physical activity. This finding links COVID-related restrictions to potential displacement effects within child and adolescent 24-hour movement behavior.

Open access

Indicators of Physical Activity Among Children and Youth in 9 Countries With Low to Medium Human Development Indices: A Global Matrix 3.0 Paper

Taru Manyanga, Joel D. Barnes, Chalchisa Abdeta, Ade F. Adeniyi, Jasmin Bhawra, Catherine E. Draper, Tarun R. Katapally, Asaduzzaman Khan, Estelle Lambert, Daga Makaza, Vida K. Nyawornota, Reginald Ocansey, Narayan Subedi, Riaz Uddin, Dawn Tladi, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: This study compares results of physical activity report cards from 9 countries with low to medium human development indices, participating in the Global Matrix 3.0 initiative. Methods: Country-specific report cards were informed by relevant data and government policy documents, reporting on 10 core indicators of physical activity for children and youth. Data were synthesized by report card working groups following a harmonized process. Grade assignments for each indicator utilized a standard grading rubric. Indicators were grouped into one of 2 categories: daily behaviors and settings and sources of influence. Descriptive statistics (average grades) were computed after letter grades were converted into interval variables. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients were calculated for all correlation analyses. Results: Mean grades for daily behaviors were higher (C) than those for settings and sources of influence (D+). Twenty-nine out of the possible 90 grades were assigned an incomplete. There were moderate to strong positive and negative relationships between different global indices and overall physical activity, organized sport and physical activity, active play, family, community and environment, and government. Conclusions: Findings demonstrate an urgent need for high-quality data at the country level in order to better characterize the physical activity levels of children and youth in countries with low to medium human development indices.

Open access

Results from South Africa’s 2018 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

Catherine E. Draper, Simone A. Tomaz, Susan H. Bassett, Cora Burnett, Candice J. Christie, Colleen Cozett, Monique de Milander, Soezin Krog, Andries Monyeki, Niri Naidoo, Rowena Naidoo, Alessandra Prioreschi, Cheryl Walter, Estelle Watson, and Estelle V. Lambert

Restricted access

The South African 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Birth to 5 Years: An Integration of Physical Activity, Sitting Behavior, Screen Time, and Sleep

Catherine E. Draper, Simone A. Tomaz, Linda Biersteker, Caylee J. Cook, Jacqui Couper, Monique de Milander, Kamesh Flynn, Sonja Giese, Soezin Krog, Estelle V. Lambert, Tamarin Liebenberg, Cyndi Mendoza, Terri Nunes, Anita Pienaar, Alessandra Priorieschi, Dale E. Rae, Nafeesa Rahbeeni, John J. Reilly, Louis Reynolds, Marie-Louise Samuels, Ricardo Siljeur, Jody Urion, Mariza van Wyk, and Anthony D. Okely

Background: In December 2018, the South African 24-hour movement guidelines for birth to 5 years were released. This article describes the process used to develop these guidelines. Methods: The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation-ADOLOPMENT approach was followed, with some pragmatic adaptions, using the Australian guidelines for the early years as a starting point. A consensus panel, including stakeholders in early childhood development and academics, was formed to assist with the development process. Results: At a face-to-face meeting of the panel, global and local literatures were considered. Following this meeting, a first draft of the guidelines (including a preamble) was formulated. Further reviews of these drafts by the panel were done via e-mail, and a working draft was sent out for stakeholder consultation. The guidelines and preamble were amended based on stakeholder input, and an infographic was designed. Practical “tips” documents were also developed for caregivers of birth to 5-year-olds and early childhood development practitioners. The guidelines (and accompanying documents) were released at a launch event and disseminated through various media channels. Conclusions: These are the first movement guidelines for South African and the first such guidelines for this age group from a low- and middle-income country.

Open access

Global Matrix 3.0 Physical Activity Report Card Grades for Children and Youth: Results and Analysis From 49 Countries

Salomé Aubert, Joel D. Barnes, Chalchisa Abdeta, Patrick Abi Nader, Ade F. Adeniyi, Nicolas Aguilar-Farias, Dolores S. Andrade Tenesaca, Jasmin Bhawra, Javier Brazo-Sayavera, Greet Cardon, Chen-Kang Chang, Christine Delisle Nyström, Yolanda Demetriou, Catherine E. Draper, Lowri Edwards, Arunas Emeljanovas, Aleš Gába, Karla I. Galaviz, Silvia A. González, Marianella Herrera-Cuenca, Wendy Y. Huang, Izzeldin A.E. Ibrahim, Jaak Jürimäe, Katariina Kämppi, Tarun R. Katapally, Piyawat Katewongsa, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Asaduzzaman Khan, Agata Korcz, Yeon Soo Kim, Estelle Lambert, Eun-Young Lee, Marie Löf, Tom Loney, Juan López-Taylor, Yang Liu, Daga Makaza, Taru Manyanga, Bilyana Mileva, Shawnda A. Morrison, Jorge Mota, Vida K. Nyawornota, Reginald Ocansey, John J. Reilly, Blanca Roman-Viñas, Diego Augusto Santos Silva, Pairoj Saonuam, John Scriven, Jan Seghers, Natasha Schranz, Thomas Skovgaard, Melody Smith, Martyn Standage, Gregor Starc, Gareth Stratton, Narayan Subedi, Tim Takken, Tuija Tammelin, Chiaki Tanaka, David Thivel, Dawn Tladi, Richard Tyler, Riaz Uddin, Alun Williams, Stephen H.S. Wong, Ching-Lin Wu, Paweł Zembura, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: Accumulating sufficient moderate to vigorous physical activity is recognized as a key determinant of physical, physiological, developmental, mental, cognitive, and social health among children and youth (aged 5–17 y). The Global Matrix 3.0 of Report Card grades on physical activity was developed to achieve a better understanding of the global variation in child and youth physical activity and associated supports. Methods: Work groups from 49 countries followed harmonized procedures to develop their Report Cards by grading 10 common indicators using the best available data. The participating countries were divided into 3 categories using the United Nations’ human development index (HDI) classification (low or medium, high, and very high HDI). Results: A total of 490 grades, including 369 letter grades and 121 incomplete grades, were assigned by the 49 work groups. Overall, an average grade of “C-,” “D+,” and “C-” was obtained for the low and medium HDI countries, high HDI countries, and very high HDI countries, respectively. Conclusions: The present study provides rich new evidence showing that the situation regarding the physical activity of children and youth is a concern worldwide. Strategic public investments to implement effective interventions to increase physical activity opportunities are needed.