Coronavirus Pandemic

UAE e-learning amid Covid: Obesity on rise among students

Web Report/Dubai
Filed on March 21, 2021 | Last updated on March 21, 2021 at 09.43 pm
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A UAE health ministry study found that physical activity among students had decreased by 46%.

Obesity has increased among students in the UAE as learning has moved online. Physical activity among students decreased by 46 per cent, while time spent with gadgets increased.

This came as the Ministry of Health and Prevention, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, revealed the results of a survey of 27,757 parents.

The survey studied the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, distance learning, and social distancing on school-going children's physical activity, food habits, and quality of sleep.

The study found that physical activity among students fell, especially among those who were active before the pandemic hit.

Close to 52 per cent of parents revealed that their food delivery had decreased, while nearly 20 per cent said it had increased.

The lack of physical activity, along with an increased amount of screen time and variations in sleeping hours, has led to an increase in obesity.

The study also identified a need for students of determination to undergo physiotherapy to rid themselves of the negative effects of the pandemic.

Dr Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary for Centres and Health Clinics, said: "A set of programmes and initiatives will be prepared to come up with proper solutions to the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic on the public health of school students."

Dr Naglaa Sajwani, Head of the School Health Department, pointed out that an effective way to tackle this challenge would be to encourage students to adopt healthier habits while staying home.

This would include practising healthy nutrition, creating workouts that can be done at home, stressing good sleep habits and using gadgets in a way that can limit their harmful effects.

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