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Kaori Ishii, Ai Shibata, Minoru Adachi, Yoshiyuki Mano and Koichiro Oka

Background:

Sedentary behaviors (SB) are associated with health indicators; however, there are currently very few studies that have examined these associations, especially in conjunction with psychological factors, in children. The current study examined the independent relationship between objectively assessed SB, and indicators of obesity and psychological well-being, among Japanese children.

Methods:

A total of 967 elementary-school children completed a cross-sectional survey. SB was measured with accelerometers for 7 consecutive days. Psychological well-being data (eg, anxiety and behavior problems) were collected via a self-report questionnaire. To determine the relationship of SB with degree of obesity and psychological well-being, linear regression analyses were conducted to relate the indicators of obesity and psychological well-being on SB, adjusted by gender, grade, percentage of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day, duration spent wearing the accelerometer, and degree of obesity.

Results:

SB was significantly related to behavioral/emotional problems (β = .280, P = .010, R 2 = .015). There was a statistically significant relationship between SB and anxiety (β = .206, P = .059, R 2 = .007). No significant association with degree of obesity was found.

Conclusions:

Excess SB relates higher levels of behavioral/emotional problems and anxiety. These results can inspire the development of interventions that promote well-being and enhance psychological health, by focusing on SB in Japanese children.