As children around the world stayed home, studied remotely and became more socially isolated during the coronavirus pandemic, they also became less physically active, according to a new review of almost two dozen studies that was published Monday in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics.
The pandemic led to children’s daily physical activity declining by 20 percent, according to the review, which analyzed the results of 22 studies published in English that compared activity before and during the pandemic.
The review included studies published between January 2020 and January 2022, with a total of more than 14,000 participants under the age of 18 around the world. (It did not include any samples from Africa.)
The studies revealed an average decrease of 17 minutes a day in children’s “moderate-to-vigorous physical activity” during the pandemic.
The decline in physical activity was tied to Covid-19 restrictions that included social distancing, disrupted school schedules and remote learning, as well as an increase in children’s sedentary screen time, researchers said.
“Major outlets for accessing physical activity (sports clubs, swimming pools, gyms, community centers) were…