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Article

Comparison of Estonian Schoolchildren’s Physical Activity and Fitness Indicators before and after the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Period of Restricted Mobility

School of Natural Sciences and Health, Tallinn University, 10120 Tallinn, Estonia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060744
Submission received: 30 April 2024 / Revised: 31 May 2024 / Accepted: 5 June 2024 / Published: 6 June 2024
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Physical Activity in Health Promotion)

Abstract

It is recognized that the time adolescents spend on physical activity, and the corresponding physical fitness indicators, have diminished over time. However, the exact impact of the COVID-19 pandemic restriction period on physical activity and health-related physical fitness indicators remains unclear. This study sought to determine if and to what degree the primary indicators of physical activity (exercise frequency, exercise intensity, and outdoor physical activity) and health-related physical fitness (strength and endurance) among schoolchildren have shifted, by comparing data from before and after the coronavirus pandemic period. Students aged 12–17 years took part in the study. The physical activity questionnaire and fitness tests were conducted in the autumn of 2017 and spring of 2022. The main results show that moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity time and time spent actively outdoors have decreased among adolescents (p < 0.05). There were no significant changes in exercise frequency (p > 0.05). However, there was a statistically significant decline in strength (standing broad jump, bent arm hang) (p < 0.05) and endurance (20 m shuttle run, curl-up) (p < 0.01) when comparing results from before and after the COVID-19 pandemic restriction period. In conclusion, restricted mobility had the greatest impact on the time spent outdoors and, in turn, on physical fitness.
Keywords: physical activity; physical fitness; schoolchildren; COVID-19 pandemic; restricted mobility physical activity; physical fitness; schoolchildren; COVID-19 pandemic; restricted mobility

Share and Cite

MDPI and ACS Style

Kuu, S.; Noormets, J.; Rääsk, T.; Pedak, K.; Saaron, V.; Baskin, K.; Port, K. Comparison of Estonian Schoolchildren’s Physical Activity and Fitness Indicators before and after the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Period of Restricted Mobility. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21, 744. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060744

AMA Style

Kuu S, Noormets J, Rääsk T, Pedak K, Saaron V, Baskin K, Port K. Comparison of Estonian Schoolchildren’s Physical Activity and Fitness Indicators before and after the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Period of Restricted Mobility. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2024; 21(6):744. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060744

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kuu, Saima, Joe Noormets, Triin Rääsk, Kirsti Pedak, Viktor Saaron, Karin Baskin, and Kristjan Port. 2024. "Comparison of Estonian Schoolchildren’s Physical Activity and Fitness Indicators before and after the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Period of Restricted Mobility" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 21, no. 6: 744. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060744

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