OBJECTIVE: The current study was designed to highlight the physical and
psychological health hazards that young Egyptian athletes faced during
the COVID-19 lockdown. SETTING: Private sporting club in Cairo. DESIGN:
Cross sectional study. PARTICIPANTS: This study included 37 young
Egyptian male soccer players whose ages ranged between 9 and 11 years.
INTERVENTIONS: Each athlete was subjected to detailed history taking and
their anthropometric measurements were taken, mainly weight and height
with calculation of their body mass index (BMI). Two questionnaires were
filled by each of the enrolled athlete covering their sleep habits and
their quality of life (QoL). Finally, the mothers were asked to fill in
a questionnaire concerned with depression, anxiety and stress. RESULTS:
More than 50% of the enrolled athletes gained weight during the
lockdown. Significantly more young athletes who gained weight reported
no compliance to the assigned home exercises and more sleeping hours.
The mothers‘ depression score correlated negatively and their anxiety
score correlated positively with the increased BMI of the athletes. The
athletes mean QoL Score worsened significantly from March to July 2020.
Additionally, a significant negative correlation was found between the
increased BMI and the change of QoL. CONCLUSION: The recent pandemic
lockdown had both physical and psychological effects on Egyptian young
athletes. The increased BMI was significantly reported among those who
didn’t do home exercises and had a negative correlation with their QoL
change throughout the lockdown. Additionally, the mothers‘ depression
and anxiety had a possible reflection on their youngsters’ weight gain.