Physical Activity and Screen Time of Children Aged 5-13 Years during the COVID-19 Lockdown in Mongolia: A Cross-sectional Study

The Open Public Health Journal 01 December 2023 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/0118749445259600230919105137



A novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) has posed a significant threat to global health and the economy over the last two years. In December 2019, a novel coronavirus infection began in Wuhan, China, and quickly spread throughout the world. Since January 2020, the Mongolian government has enforced a social distancing policy, and the country has been one of the few where the disease has not spread. In the 143 days since the outbreak, 575 cases have been reported, resulting in three cases of public emergency preparedness and 50 days of lockdown. The new school year began in September 2021, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, children will be required to study online from home again on 12th November. It was interesting how the pandemic lockdown affected screen time and physical activity in children.


We aimed to assess the relationship between physical activity (PA) and screen time (ST) of children aged 5-13 years’ Mongolian residents during the COVID-19 lockdown.


The observational cross-sectional study was conducted during the COVID-19 lockdown between 5th Feb and 9th March 2021 which was the second lockdown of Mongolia, and we have studied 1005 children aged 5-13 years from the capital city. The questionnaire was used which was prepared by the study team and the questionnaire included 33 questions to evaluate screen time and physical activity. All parents reported the questionnaire to give some information about their children. We used appropriate statistical methods in SPSS software.


A total of 1005 children aged 5-13 years from 628 families were involved in the survey which included 51.9% boys and 44.1% girls. The median of PA and ST was 300 minutes [min, max: 0, 1260] and 30 minutes [min, max: 0,180]. The linear regression revealed a weak negative correlation (r2=0.005, p<0.0001) between PA and ST. When ST and PA analyzed in age by age groups, there was a statistically significant negative dynamic of ST mean time and PA mean score (p<0.0001). Older kids have more ST and lower PA during lockdown time. During this lockdown, 60.4% of the parents reported that their children showed a decrease in PA.


The mean score of physical inactivity has decreased and ST increased dramatically among children 5-13 years as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Keywords: COVID-19, Lockdown, Physical activity, Screen time, Preparedness, IBM.
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