Changes in physical activity and sedentary time among children with asthma during the COVID-19 pandemic and influencing factors

Sandra Lee, Ai Zhang, Lei Liu, Deborah Salvo, Leyao Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Regular physical activity is essential for asthma control in children, but it remains understudied within the context of COVID-19. Physical activity and sedentary time levels before and during the COVID-19 pandemic among children with asthma were documented and differences by characteristics were explored. Methods: This was a cross-sectional self-administered online survey study of 5- to 17-year-old children with asthma from the United States between December 2020 and April 2021. Results: This study included 68 children with asthma. Although only 4.6% of the children were fully inactive before the pandemic, this number increased to 24.6% during the survey period (p < 0.001). Children spent significantly less time outdoors and more time in front of screens during the pandemic versus before (p < 0.001). The variety of activities in which children with asthma engaged in during the pandemic was lower than what they used to do prior to the COVID-19 crisis. Boys, Hispanic children, those of low-income households, and those not attending school in-person were significantly associated with less participation in physical activity during the pandemic. Ethnicity remained significantly associated after adjusting for multiple comparisons. Conclusions: During the COVID-19 pandemic, children with asthma were less active and spent more time in front of screens and less time outdoors. Subgroup analyses revealed individual, parental, and organizational characteristics being associated with differential participation in physical activity, highlighting disparities in opportunities for children with asthma of different circumstances to remain active and healthy during the pandemic. Additional, more robust longitudinal studies are needed to confirm these results.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Asthma
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • disparities
  • epidemiology
  • outdoor time
  • pediatrics
  • quality of life
  • screen time
  • survey

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