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1.
International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health [Electronic Resource] ; 18(9):27, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1209892

ABSTRACT

Understanding how screen time behaviors changed during the COVID-19 pandemic is important to inform the design of health promotion interventions. The purpose of this study was to quantify and describe changes in recreational screen time from 2018 to 2020 among a diverse sample of emerging adults. Participants (n = 716) reported their average weekly recreational screen time in 2018 and again during the pandemic in 2020. Additionally, participants qualitatively reported how events related to COVID-19 had influenced their screen time. Weekly recreational screen time increased from 25.9 +/- 11.9 h in 2018 to 28.5 +/- 11.6 h during COVID-19 (p < 0.001). The form of screen time most commonly reported to increase was TV shows and streaming services (n = 233). Commonly reported reasons for changes in screen time were boredom (n = 112) and a desire to connect with others (n = 52). Some participants reported trying to reduce screen time because of its negative impact on their mental health (n = 32). Findings suggest that screen time and mental health may be intertwined during the pandemic as it may lead to poorer mental health for some, while promoting connectedness for others. Health professionals and public health messaging could promote specific forms for screen time to encourage social connection during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

2.
International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health [Electronic Resource] ; 18(7):01, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1208602

ABSTRACT

Emerging adults' lives have changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Physical activity (PA) behaviors need to be examined to inform interventions and improve health. Responses to the C-EAT (COVID-19 Eating and Activity over Time) survey (N = 720;age = 24.7 +/- 2.0 yrs) were analyzed. This mixed-methods study quantitatively examined changes in self-reported PA (hours/week of mild PA, moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), and total PA) from 2018 to 2020. Qualitative responses on how COVID-19 impacted PA were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Hours of PA were lower on average for all intensity levels during COVID-19 than in 2018 (p's < 0.0001). Over half of the sample reported a decrease in MVPA (53.8%) and total PA (55.6%);42.6% reported a decrease in mild PA. High SES were more likely to report an increase in total PA (p = 0.001) compared to those of lower SES. Most (83.6%) participants perceived that COVID-19 had influenced their PA. The most common explanations were decreased gym access, effects on outdoor PA, and increased dependence on at-home PA. Results suggest that emerging adults would benefit from behavioral interventions and health promotion efforts in response to the pandemic, with a focus on activities that can be easily performed in the home or in safe neighborhood spaces.

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