Previous research shows contradictory findings on potential competing effects between sedentary screen media usage (SMU) and physical activity (PA). This study examined these effects on adolescent girls via self-organizing maps analysis focusing on 3 target profiles.
A sample of 1,516 girls aged 12 to 18 years self-reported daily time engagement in PA (moderate and vigorous intensity) and in screen media activities (TV/video/DVD, computer, and videogames), separately and combined.
Topological interrelationships from the 13 emerging maps indicated a moderate competing effect between physically active and sedentary SMU patterns. Higher SES and overweight status were linked to either active or inactive behaviors. Three target clusters were explored in more detail. Cluster 1, named temperate-media actives, showed capabilities of being active while engaging in a moderate level of SMU (TV/video/DVD mainly). In Cluster 2, named prudent-media inactives, and Cluster 3, compulsive-media inactives, a competing effect between SMU and PA emerged, being sedentary SMU behaviors responsible for a low involvement in active pursuits.
SMU and PA emerge as both related and independent behaviors in girls, resulting in a moderate competing effect. Findings support the case for recommending the timing of PA and SMU for recreational purposes considering different profiles, sociodemographic factors and types of SMU.