Yukta Kulkarni ’22
When one thinks of wellbeing, mental and physical well-being usually comes to mind. However, especially in today’s society, economic well-being is just as important. Also known as financial well-being, economic well-being is defined as the ability to meet all monetary expectations, while continuing to be financially stable. This corresponds largely with the job market, as a steady income can promote financial well-being. Unfortunately, for many people around the world, job security dramatically decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This, in turn, affected both the financial and psychological well-being of families, and could possibly affect the physical and mental well-being of their children. Mâsse et al. strived to determine if and how financial wellbeing during COVID-19 affected the physical activity levels and wellbeing of children.
This longitudinal study was conducted from May to June 2020 with Canadian children in the 7th grade. Participants came from diverse backgrounds, including different ethnic, educational, and financial households. Mothers of the children were asked to fill out a financial questionnaire, asking if they currently felt in control of and confident in their finances or if they had pessimistic attitudes towards it. Both mothers and children took questionnaires to determine their self-esteem, optimism, depressive symptoms, and anxiety symptoms. Additionally, the students’ sedentary and physical activities were measured using the Sedentary Behavior questionnaire and the Moderate-Vigorous Physical activity questionnaire, respectively. After descriptive statistics were calculated and equation modeling was performed, it was found that there was a significant direct relationship between financial wellbeing and the physical activity levels of children in those families. This means that families with higher financial wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic have children with better physical and mental health compared to those who have lower financial wellbeing.
This association between financial well-being and physical well-being is essential as it may have implications in the poverty crisis seen across the globe, which has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Countless families who once had financial freedom are now facing problems. Those who were already experiencing financial hardships have been hit even harder. If it can be assumed that those that are economically struggling are not getting adequate physical activity due to the results of this paper, it can be argued that their children aren’t as physically healthy as those who have access to money. Further research should be done to determine if children’s physical wellbeing improves if their parents’ financial wellbeing improves as well.
 L. Mâsse, et al., The impact of financial and psychological wellbeing on children’s physical activity and screen-based activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, 1894 (2021). doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168694
 Image retrieved from: https://pixabay.com/photos/money-profit-finance-business-2696228/