COVID-19 Pandemic and Youth Fitness: A Systematic Review

Document Type : Review


Department of Health and Human Performance, Marymount University, Arlington, Virginia, USA


While in school, children and adolescents are often required to participate in physical activity as part of daily interactions or guided by the curriculum. Whether that be playing a game at recess, or participating in physical education classes, children and adolescents are up and moving more. However, the COVID-19 pandemic stripped youth of these examples of incidental physical activity. Being in lockdown for long periods and experiencing different degrees of supervision from teachers and parents, children increased their consumption of junk food, sedentary activity, and unhealthy habits. Thus, physical fitness is likely to have decreased among youth since 2019. However, studies and publications on youth fitness specific to the pandemic are scarce. In this systematic review, we provide readers with relevant case studies, statistics, and information that reflects the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on youth fitness. Although the impact of coronavirus on youth fitness is a newly developed topic that still requires extensive research, evidence and comparison between fitness performance, habits, and behaviors pre and post pandemic infer a negative correlation.