IJERPH, Vol. 20, Pages 6041: Parents’ Perceptions of Changes in Sleep Duration, Physical Activity, and Sedentary Behavior in Arab Israeli Children during the COVID-19 Outbreak (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
The COVID-19 pandemic led many countries to apply lockdown measures that could prevent children from achieving the physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep levels suggested for their psychophysical health. The current study tested changes in physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep length of children and the incidence of achieving the 24 h movement standards through the limitations of COVID-19. A total of 490 Arab Israeli parents were surveyed. An electronic cross-sectional survey was performed, including questions addressing engagement in physical activities, use of screens, and sleep duration. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, time spent participating in physical activity was reduced, sedentary behavior and sleep duration were increased, and the percentage of the sample who met the physical activity and sedentary behavior suggestions lessened. The percentage of participants who attained the overall 24 h movement recommendations was very low during the pandemic; school children met the guideline recommendations for physical activity and sleep duration more than preschool children, and girls spent more time in physical activity. These findings highlight the need for strategies to enhance physical activity and decrease sedentary behavior in children to prevent long-term effects of limitations imposed by COVID-19. Efforts to perceive and encourage healthy routines in Arab Israeli children in the case of pandemic limitations are expected to serve as a precedence.