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Natasha Kane Focuses Master’s Thesis on Barriers to Promotion of Physical Activity among Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic  

Natasha Kane, a Master of Science in Prevention Science and Community Health candidate in the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, will defend her thesis on Wednesday, March 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

“Before the pandemic, I was planning to focus my thesis study on school-based obesity prevention programs,” Kane said. “During the midst of COVID-19, I kept reading that the pandemic was expected to exacerbate the rising obesity epidemic, especially in children. Since physical activity promotion and obesity prevention are my research interests, I decided to focus my thesis on the barriers to physical activity promotion among children during COVID-19, including in schools with pandemic-related restrictions and in virtual learning environments.”

To conduct her thesis study, Kane used an explanatory sequential mixed methods design, which consisted of a quantitative survey of 68 participants followed by 17 qualitative interviews. 

“I collected data regarding the barriers and challenges to physical activity promotion for children from parents, elementary classroom teachers, physical education teachers, college professors, and anyone who had influence over the physical activity levels of children during COVID-19,” she said. 

Based on this data, Kane created a brief animated physical education video intervention to target enhanced physical activity for children during COVID-19 and beyond.  

Written by Amanda Torres
Published on March 24, 2021