Department of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Children’s sedentary behaviour: descriptive epidemiology and associations with objectively-measured sedentary time.
- Published on Nov. 25, 2013
Background: Little is known regarding the patterning and socio-demographic distribution of multiple sedentary behaviours in children. The aims of this study were to: 1) describe the leisure-time sedentary behaviour of 9-10 year old British children, and 2) establish associations with objectively-measured sedentary time.
Methods: Cross-sectional analysis in the SPEEDY study (Sport, Physical activity and Eating behaviour: Environmental Determinants in Young people) (N=1513, 44.3% boys). Twelve leisure-time sedentary behaviours were assessed by questionnaire. Objectively-measured leisure-time sedentary time (Actigraph GT1M, <100 counts/minute) was assessed over 7 days. Differences by sex and socioeconomic status (SES) in self-reported sedentary behaviours were tested using Kruskal-Wallis tests. The association between objectively-measured sedentary time and the separate sedentary behaviours (continuous (minutes) and categorised into ‘none’ ‘low’ or ‘high’ participation) was assessed using multi-level linear regression.
Results: Sex differences were observed for time spent in most sedentary behaviours (all p ≤ 0.02), except computer use. Girls spent more time in combined non-screen sedentary behaviour (median, interquartile range: girls: 770.0 minutes, 390.0-1230.0; boys: 725.0, 365.0 – 1182.5; p = 0.003), whereas boys spent more time in screen-based behaviours (girls: 540.0, 273.0 – 1050.0; boys: 885.0, 502.5 – 1665.0; p < 0.001). Time spent in five non-screen behaviours differed by SES, with higher values in those of higher SES (all p ≤ 0.001). Regression analyses with continuous exposures indicated that reading (β = 0.1, p < 0.001) and watching television (β = 0.04, p < 0.01) were positively associated with objectively-measured sedentary time, whilst playing board games (β = -0.12, p < 0.05) was negatively associated. Analysed in categorical form, sitting and talking (vs. none: ‘low’ β = 26.1,ns; ‘high’ 30.9, p < 0.05), playing video games (vs. none: ‘low’ β = 49.1, p < 0.01; ‘high’ 60.2, p < 0.01) and watching television (vs. lowest tertile: middle β = 22.2,ns; highest β = 31.9, p < 0.05) were positively associated with objectively-measured sedentary time whereas talking on the phone (vs. none: ‘low’ β = -38.5, p < 0.01; ‘high’ -60.2, p < 0.01) and using a computer/internet (vs. none: ‘low’ β = -30.7, p < 0.05; ‘high’ -4.2,ns) were negatively associated.
Conclusions: Boys and girls and children of different socioeconomic backgrounds engage in different leisure-time sedentary behaviours. Whilst a number of behaviours may be predictive of total sedentary time, collectively they explain little overall variance. Future studies should consider a wide range of sedentary behaviours and incorporate objective measures to quantify sedentary time where possible.
- Tessa Klitsie 1
- Kirsten Corder 2
- Tommy LS Visscher 3
- Andrew J Atkin 4
- Andrew P Jones 5
- Esther MF van Sluijs 2, 4
Medical Research Council, Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Research Centre for the Prevention of Overweight Zwolle, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences and VU University, Zwolle, The Netherlands
UKCRC Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
BMC Public Health