A recent study published in the journal Public Health (2022) examined changes in lifestyle behaviours (physical activity, screen time, eating habits and bed/wake-up times), mental health and wellbeing during the first lockdown in Spring 2020 as perceived by school children from disadvantaged settings.
A total of 1095 grade 4 to 6 students (age 9–12 years) from 20 schools in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities in northern Canada were surveyed.
Results showed that positive attitudes toward being active, eating healthy, going to sleep on time and being healthy were strongly associated with maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviours during the lockdown.
In addition, positive attitudes toward active and healthy living and healthy lifestyle behaviours were associated with maintaining positive mental health and wellbeing during the lockdown.
The authors concluded that these results indicate the need for effective health promotion and healthy lifestyles to benefit both physical and mental health.
Mental health and prevention specialists should provide programs and opportunities for children, including socioeconomically disadvantaged children, to develop positive attitudes and behaviors for increasing physical activity, eating healthy foods and getting adequate sleep to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
Read the full study: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033350621004133