Movement behaviors and mental health of caregivers of preschoolers in China during the COVID-19 pandemic

Jie Feng, Wendy Yajun Huang*, Patrick Wing Chung Lau, Stephen Heung Sang Wong, Cindy Hui Ping Sit

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aimed to examine the associations between physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior (SB), sleep, and the mental health of caregivers of preschool children following the COVID-19 outbreak. From 5 October to 16 December 2020, responses from 2476 respondents in China were collated through an online survey or a written questionnaire. Movement behaviors (PA, SB, screen time, and sleep), mental health (depression, anxiety, and stress), and demographic information were self-reported by the respondents. Linear mixed models were used for data analysis. Valid responses were received from 2002 caregivers (35.5 ± 4.9 years old, 76.3% females) of children between 3 and 6 years old in China (Hong Kong 3.2%, Shanghai 20.6%, Guangzhou 34.1%, Guiyang 26.7%, Xuzhou 11.3%, Xi'an 4.1%). A higher level of PA was associated with a lower score of depression, while lower SB and longer sleep duration were associated with lower scores of depression, anxiety, and stress. Meeting the Canadian 24-h movement guidelines was associated with less symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Higher PA was associated with lower levels of depression, while longer sleep and lower SB were associated with better scores of depression, anxiety, and stress. Meeting the Canadian 24-h movement guidelines has been associated with better mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interventions to improve mental health among caregivers should involve enhancing their overall movement behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106913
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume155
Early online date16 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Caregiver
  • Children
  • COVID-19
  • Mental health
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary behavior
  • Sleep

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