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The impact of reduced time spent outdoors during the Covid-19 lockdown on the health and well-being of young people in Czechia

Dominik Rubáš, Tomáš Matějček, Roman Kroufek

published online: 01. 11. 2022


It was not officially possible to leave the cadastral territory for recreational purposes in Czechia during the period from the 1 March to the 21 March 2021. The aim of this study was to evaluate how this lockdown affected the amount of time young people spent outdoors and their health and mental well-being. Our research was aimed at students at all levels of school. Immediately after the end of the strictest phase of the lockdown, we conducted a questionnaire survey and collected data from more than a thousand students at elementary schools, secondary schools and universities, as well as 160 parents of 269 pre-school and primary school children. The answers to the close-ended questions were evaluated by statistical analysis, while the answers to the open-ended questions were evaluated using thematic analysis. The results show that the impact of restrictive measures on the health and psyche of young people was significant, especially for female students. Lockdown significantly reduced respondents’ opportunities to spend time outdoors. Male students spent significantly more of their free time in front of computer screens. Respondents living in buildings without a garden and young people who could not use a recreational building outside the district of residence were most affected by restrictions during the lockdown.

keywords: COVID-19; lockdown; contact with nature; health; well-being; place attachment

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