A MIXED METHODS APPROACH TO INVESTIGATING THE CHANGES OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY BEHAVIORS OF CHILDREN DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: PARENT REPORT

2022-9
ALKAN, LEYLA
After the COVID-19 pandemic was announced, a series of measures were taken by governments, including home confinement and social distancing due to prevent the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Though the importance of physical activity in childhood is well known, pandemic-related restrictions affected opportunities to reach healthy movement behaviors. The present study aimed to reveal the evidence of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity behaviors of children aged between 5-12 years. The study implemented a mixed methods approach integrating survey methodology with interviewing techniques. A random sample of Turkish parents (n=205), including 165 mothers and 40 fathers completed an online questionnaire open for a whole year. After collecting the quantitative data, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight parents to profoundly investigate the parents' understanding of their children's physical activity behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed a decrease in physical activity behaviours of children and the frequency of physical activity participation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings clarified how much parents cared about children's sleep patterns and ensured that sleep duration was enough for children's age. Moreover, this study revealed a decrease in time spent outdoor while increase in time spent indoor. Parents claimed they mostly lost control of screen time, resulting in increased in screen viewing. Findings clarified the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children's physical activity behaviors. This study describes the need for public health strategies to improve health policies for children to offer indoor and outdoor physical activity opportunities.

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Citation Formats
L. ALKAN, “A MIXED METHODS APPROACH TO INVESTIGATING THE CHANGES OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY BEHAVIORS OF CHILDREN DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: PARENT REPORT,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2022.