Wunsch, K., Nigg, C., Niessner, C., Schmidt, S., Oriwol, D., Hanssen-Doose, A., Burchartz, A., Eichsteller, A., Kolb, S., Worth, A. & Woll, A. (2021). The impact of COVID-19 on the interrelation of physical activity, screen time and health-related quality of life in children and adolescents in Germany: Results of the Motorik-Modul Study, Children, 8(2), 98.
Abstract Reduced physical activity (PA) and prolonged screen time (ST) negatively influence healthrelated
quality of life (HRQoL), a protective factor against illness and mortality. Studies addressing
the relationship between PA, ST, and mental health in youth are scarce, especially in times with
high mental health burdens like the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this examination was to
investigate whether PA, ST, and HRQoL before COVID-19 predict PA, ST, and HRQoL during the
COVID-19 pandemic. Participants from the Motorik-Modul Study (MoMo; N = 1711; Mage = 10.36
(SD = 4.04) years, female = 49.8%; healthy weight = 76.8%) self-reported their PA and ST as well as
HRQoL both before and during COVID-19. Relationships of all variables, from before to during
COVID-19, were investigated through a path prediction model. Results showed all variables during
COVID-19 were predicted by the respective levels before COVID-19, independent of gender and age.
Cross-lags revealed a negative influence of before COVID-19 ST on during COVID-19 PA. HRQoL
before COVID-19 was positively associated with during COVID-19 PA in children younger than
10 years and females, but not in adolescents and boys. As age- and gender-independent negative
influence of before COVID-19 ST on during COVID-19 PA has been detected, health policy may be
advised to focus on a general reduction in ST instead of PA enhancement to ensure high PA levels.