Physical activity and asthma symptom control in children during COVID-19 lockdown: A feasibility study

Xiaorong Ding, Maxine E Whelan, David A Clifton, Tingting Zhu

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    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE: The aim was to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on physical activity (PA) and asthma symptom control in children.

    METHODS: We conducted a single-cohort observational study on 22 children with a median age of 9 (8-11) years with a diagnosis of asthma being included in the study. Participants were asked to wear a PA tracker for 3 months; during the same 3-month period, the Paediatric Asthma Diary (PAD) was administered daily and the Asthma Control (AC) Questionnaire together with the mini-Paediatric Asthma Quality of Life (AQoL) Questionnaire administered at weekly intervals.

    RESULTS: Compared with the pre-lockdown period, there was a significant reduction in PA levels after the lockdown began. Daily total steps reduced by about 3000 steps ( p  < 0.001), very active minutes by 9 min ( p  < 0.001) and fairly active minutes almost halved ( p  < 0.001); while asthma symptom control marginally improved, with the AC and AQoL score improving by 0.56 ( p  < 0.005) and 0.47 ( p  < 0.05), respectively. Further, for those with AC score higher than 1, PA was positively associated with asthma control both before and after the lockdown.

    CONCLUSIONS: This feasibility study suggests that PA engagement of children with asthma is negatively affected during the pandemic, but the beneficial effect of PA on asthma symptom control potentially sustains even during a lockdown period. These findings emphasize the importance of wearable device to monitor longitudinal PA and thus better management of PA for achieving the best outcome of asthma symptom control.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages11
    JournalDigital Health
    Volume9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2023

    Bibliographical note

    This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

    Funder

    The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the EPSRC Fast Assessment and Treatment in Healthcare NetworkPlus, Grant number EP/N027000/1. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission. Funding Information: We would like to thank all the participants, including the children and their parents, for taking part and their cooperation to make this study possible. This work was supported in part by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), and in part by an InnoHK Project at the Hong Kong Centre for Cerebro-cardiovascular Health Engineering (CoCHE). David A Clifton is an Investigator in the Pandemic Sciences Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health, InnoHK – ITC, or the University of Oxford. TZ was supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering under the Research Fellowship scheme. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the EPSRC Fast Assessment and Treatment in Healthcare NetworkPlus, Grant number EP/N027000/1. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission. Funding Information: We would like to thank all the participants, including the children and their parents, for taking part and their cooperation to make this study possible. This work was supported in part by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), and in part by an InnoHK Project at the Hong Kong Centre for Cerebro-cardiovascular Health Engineering (CoCHE). David A Clifton is an Investigator in the Pandemic Sciences Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health, InnoHK – ITC, or the University of Oxford. TZ was supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering under the Research Fellowship scheme. Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s) 2023.

    Keywords

    • Physical activity
    • wearable tracker
    • symptom control,
    • Children with asthma,
    • OVID-19

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