Sitting and Screen Time Outside School Hours: Correlates in 6- to 8-Year-Old Children

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: Although there is increasing evidence regarding children’s screen time, little is known about children’s sitting. This study aimed to determine the correlates of screen time and sitting in 6- to 8-year-old children. Methods: In 2011–2012, parents in the Healthy Active Preschool and Primary Years (HAPPY) study (n = 498) reported their child’s week/weekend day recreational screen time and potential correlates. ActivPALs measured children’s nonschool sitting. In model 1, linear regression analyses were performed, stratified by sex and week/weekend day and controlling for age, clustered recruitment, and activPAL wear time (for sitting analyses). Correlates significantly associated with screen time or sitting (P < .05) were included in model 2. Results: Children (age 7.6 y) spent 99.6 and 119.3 minutes per day on week and weekend days engaging in screen time and sat for 119.3 and 374.6 minutes per day on week and weekend days, respectively. There were no common correlates for the 2 behaviors. Correlates largely differed by sex and week/weekend day. Modifiable correlates of screen time included television in the child’s bedroom and parental logistic support for, encouragement of, and coparticipation in screen time. Modifiable correlates of sitting included encouragement of and coparticipation in physical activity and provision of toys/equipment for physical activity. Conclusions: Interventions may benefit from including a range of strategies to ensure that all identified correlates are targeted.

Downing, Salmon, Timperio, Hinkley, and Hesketh are with the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC, Australia. Cliff and Okely are with the Faculty of Social Sciences, Early Start, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

Downing ( is corresponding author.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Table S1 (PDF 172 KB)
    • Supplementary Table S2 (PDF 245 KB)
    • Supplementary Table S3 (PDF 243 KB)