Television, Reading, and Computer Time: Correlates of School-Day Leisure-Time Sedentary Behavior and Relationship With Overweight in Children in the U.S.

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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The purposes were 1) to determine if different leisure-time sedentary behaviors (LTSB), such as TV/video/video game viewing/playing (TV), reading for pleasure (reading), and nonschool computer usage, were associated with childhood overweight status, and 2) to assess the social-ecological correlates of LTSB.


The analytic sample was 33,117 (16,952 boys and 16,165 girls) participants from the 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health. The cut-point for excessive TV and nonschool computer usage was ≥ 2 hr/day. High quantities of daily reading for pleasure were classified as ≥ 31 min/day. Weighted descriptive characteristics were calculated on the sample (means ± SE or frequency). Logistic regression models were used to determine if the LTSB were associated with overweight status and to examine social-ecological correlates.


Over 35% of the sample was overweight. Odds of being overweight were higher in the 2 to 3 hr/day (OR: 1.48, 95% CI: 1.24, 1.76) and ≥ 4 hr/day (OR: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.22, 1.91) daily TV groups compared with none. Reading and nonschool computer usage was not associated with being overweight.


TV was associated with overweight classification; however, nonschool computer usage and reading were not. Several individual, family, and community correlates were associated with high volumes of daily TV viewing.

Sisson is with the Dept of Nutritional Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK. Broyles and Katzmarzyk are with the Dept of Population Science, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA. Baker is with the Dept of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.