Relatively little is known regarding after-school behavior. This study examined after-school active and sedentary behaviors among youth participating in the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development.
An interview guided time-use approach was used to obtain detailed longitudinal information about after-school (3−6 PM) behavior of a mixed gender cohort (n = 886) at ages 9 and 11 yrs. Responses obtained in 15-min intervals were coded into 29 exclusive behaviors and separated into 3 main categories [moderate-and vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA), light-intensity physical activity, and sedentary]. Sedentary category was further divided into screen and nonscreen categories. A mixed ANOVA design was used to examine gender and age-related differences in MVPA, light-intensity physical activity, sedentary, screen, and nonscreen.
MVPA was higher among boys compared with girls (P < .001) and decreased from 9 to 11 yrs (P < .001). Overall, total sedentary time was comparable between boys and girls despite a difference in reported screen time (boys > girls; P < .001) and nonscreen time (boys < girls; P < .001). Total sedentary time increased from 9 to 11 yrs (P < .001).
Engagement in after-school behavior appears to change during preadolescence. Additional research is needed to understand factors associated with the selection of active and sedentary behavior over time.
Wickel is with the Dept of Exercise and Sports Science, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK. Issartel is with the Multisensory Motor Learning Laboratory, School of Health and Human Performance, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland. Belton is with the School of Health and Human Performance, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland.