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Background: We explored the impact of COVID-19 pandemic imposed lockdown on the lifestyle (physical, mental, dietary habits, development of new skills and behaviour) of secondary school students in an urban state all-girls school in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Methods: An online survey using Google forms distributed online via the School Newsletter - comprising 40 questions on sleep, dietary habits, physical activity, mental health, new skills and COVID-19 symptoms. Responses were sought from pupils in school years 7-12, corresponding to age 11-18 years, (approximately 1099 students).
Results: There were 102 responses received, a response rate of 10%.
- Sleep - students slept for an additional two and half hours during lockdown, and 90 minutes extra during the period of attending school online.
- Physical activities – compared to 3-hours a day during regular school time, mean daily physical activity dropped to 1-3 hours per week for 60% of students during lockdown, which were mainly home workouts, walking and cycling.
- Skills – while 54% reported deterioration in academic performance, 33% learnt a new skill such as baking or a new language.
- Mood - one third of students felt negative and 45% felt more argumentative.
- Food & shopping - majority (60%) reported both increased snacking as well as fresh fruit consumption. 30% families had changed to online grocery shopping. 1 in 5 students reported the need to ration their food.
- Covid-19 symptoms – 1 in 4 students reported symptoms of COVID-19 infection
Conclusion: Our results presents a mixed picture; there is a positive impact on sleep, learning new skills and change in diet; also an adverse impact on reduced physical activity, academic performance, mood, social interactions and the economic necessity to ration food. More information is needed to explore the longer term impact of the pandemic on education, health and the interventions that may mitigate this.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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