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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey


Children’s Physical Activity Declined Since Pandemic

Children's Activity Declined Since Covid

Samuel Borges Photography/

In a new systematic review and meta-analysis published in JAMA Pediatrics, researchers found that children’s physical activity has been greatly reduced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The researchers looked at data from 22 studies that included 14,216 participants ranging from 3 to 18 years old. The data showed that children’s total daily physical activity decreased by 20 percent (17 minutes), irrespective of pre-pandemic baseline levels, and the reduction was larger for higher-intensity physical activity. This reduction represents almost one-third of the daily dose of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity recommended for young children and adolescents.

These effects are largely due to social distancing policies and related school closures, which affected 1.5 billion youth worldwide. Under lockdown, children no longer had access to regular physical activities, recreational facilities or outdoor recess, and online learning increased sedentary screen time, disrupting healthy habits. Physical activity affects not only physical health, but also psychosocial functioning and mental well-being. 

The study’s results align with another meta-analysis showing that the pandemic increased the prevalence of youth depression and anxiety symptoms, highlighting the tremendous challenges that public health officials face to revive young people’s interest in physical activity since the pandemic.

Tick Talk

Spring officially sprung on March 21. We have turned our clocks ahead. We are looking forward to warm winds, sunny skies and the smell of fresh cut grass. The daffodils and tulips have recently bloomed and we are just starting with the yard work that comes with the warmer weather.  Sadly, another season has started ramping up.  Tick season.

•             The best form of protection is prevention. Educating oneself about tick activity and how our behaviors overlap with tick habitats is the first step.

•             According to the NJ DOH, in 2022 Hunterdon County led the state with a Lyme disease incidence rate of 426 cases per 100,000 people. The fact is ticks spend approximately 90% of their lives not on a host but aggressively searching for one, molting to their next stage or over-wintering. This is why a tick remediation program should be implemented on school grounds where NJ DOH deems high risk for tick exposure and subsequent attachment to human hosts.

•             Governor Murphy has signed a bill that mandates tick education in NJ public schools. See this for the details.  Tick education must now be incorporated into K-12 school curriculum. See link:

•             May is a great month to remind the public that tick activity is in full swing. In New Jersey, there are many tickborne diseases that affect residents, including Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Powassan, and Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiosis.

•             For years, the focus has mainly been about protecting ourselves from Lyme disease. But other tick-borne diseases are on the rise in Central Jersey. An increase of incidence of Babesia and Anaplasma are sidelining people too. These two pathogens are scary because they effect our blood cells. Babesia affects the red blood cells and Anaplasma effects the white blood cells.

•             Ticks can be infected with more than one pathogen. When you contract Lyme it is possible to contract more than just that one disease. This is called a co-infection. It is super important to pay attention to your symptoms. See link.

A good resource from the State:


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