Sedentary Behavior Levels in School-age Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The stay-at-home policy during the COVID-19 pandemic increased sedentary behavior (watching TV, playing on cell phones, etc.) in school-age children. WHO recommends that sedentary behavior should only be less than 2 hours per day with an energy expenditure of 1.5 (MET) a week. This study aimed to identify and determine the level of sedentary behavior of children during the pandemic. The research design is a retrospective descriptive by tracing the activities carried out by respondents during the past week, with a sample of 71 elementary school children in grades 4, 5, and 6 who took online learning in Tulungagung Regency, East Java, which was selected using a simple random sampling technique. Instruments of sedentary behavior were measured using the Adolescent Sedentary Activity Questionnaire (ASAQ), which was modified by Karaca & Demirci. The results showed that 88,3% did small screen recreation, 76% did educational activities using computers/handphones, 70% didn’t travel, and 67% did not engage in cultural activities, such as making handicrafts or playing music, but mostly read books for pleasure 48%. Watching television, and using a computer/cellphone as entertainment, is more interesting in children’s minds. High sedentary behavior is also caused by age and available facilities because the development of curiosity and desire to explore is very high at school age. Children’s physical activity is very important for overall developmental growth because it optimizes the mastery of skills and attitudes, facilitates cognitive development, controls and coordinates body parts, and develops emotional intelligence, which is important in life.
Keywords: sedentary behavior, growth and development, cognitive development, controlling and coordinating body part, developing emotional intelligence
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