Correlates of total sedentary time and screen time in 9-11 year-old children around the world: The international study of childhood obesity, lifestyle and the environment

Allana G.W. LeBlanc, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Tiago V. Barreira, Stephanie T. Broyles, Jean Philippe Chaput, Timothy S. Church, Mikael Fogelholm, Deirdre Harrington, Gang Hu, Rebecca Kuriyan, Anura Vishwanath Kurpad, Estelle Victoria Lambert, Carol Ann Maher, José António Maia, Victor Keihan Matsudo, Tim Olds, Vincent Ochieng Onywera, Olga Sarmiento, Martyn Standage, Catrine E. Tudor- LockePei Zhao, Mark S. Tremblay, Denise G. Lambert, Ben P. Butitta, Catherine M. Champagne, Shannon H. Cocreham, Kara N. Dentro, Katy Drazba, William D. Johnson, Dione Milauskas, Emily F. Mire, Allison Tohme, Ruben Q. Rodarte, Bobby Amoroso, John Luopa, Rebecca H. Neiberg, Scott Rushing, Lucy Kate Lewis, Katia Ferrar, Effie Georgiadis, Rebecca Megan Stanley, Sandra Mahecha Matsudo, Timóteo Leandro Araújo, Luís Carlos De Oliveira, Leandro Rezende, Luis Fabiano, Diogo Bezerra, Gerson Luis Ferrari, Priscilla Bélanger, Michael Marc Borghese, Charles Boyer, Claire E. Francis, Geneviève Leduc, Chengming Diao, Wei Li, Weiqin Li, Enqing Liu, Gongshu Liu, Hongyan Liu, Jian Ma, Yijuan Qiao, Huiguang Tian, Yue Wang, Tao Zhang, Fuxia Zhang, Julio Acosta, Yalta Alvira, María Paula Díaz, Rocio Gámez, Maria Paula Garcia, Luis Guillermo Gómez, Lisseth Heras González, Silvia Alejandra González, Carlos Grijalba, Leidys Gutiérrez, David Leal, Nicolás Lemus, Etelvina Mahecha, Maria Paula Mahecha, Rosalba Mahecha, Andrea Ramírez, Paola Ríos, Andres Suarez, Camilo A. Triana, Elli Hovi, Jemina Kivelä, Sari Räsänen, Sanna Roito, Taru Saloheimo, Leena Valta, Deepa P. Lokesh, Michelle Stephanie D'Almeida, Annie Mattilda R, Lygia F.M. Correa, Vijay D, Lucy Joy Wachira, Stella Kagwiria Muthuri, Alessandra da Silva Borges, Sofia Oliveira Sa Cachada, Raquel Nichele De Chaves, Thayse Natacha Gomes, Sara Isabel Pereira, Daniel Monteiro de Vilhena e Santos, Fernanda Karina Dos Santos, Pedro Gil Rodrigues da Silva, Michele Caroline De Souza, Vicki E. Lambert, Matthew April, Monika Uys, Nirmala Naidoo, Nandi Synyanya, Madelaine T. Carstens, Sean P. Cumming, Clemens Drenowatz, Lydia G. Emm, Fiona Bridget Gillison, Julia Kirstey Zakrzewski, Ashley Braud, Sheletta G. Donatto, Corbin Lemon, Ana Jackson, Ashunti Pearson, Gina Pennington, Daniel Ragus, Ryan C. Roubion, John M. Schuna, Derek Wiltz, Alan Batterham, Jacqueline Kerr, Michael Pratt, Angelo Pietrobelli

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Purpose Previously, studies examining correlates of sedentary behavior have been limited by small sample size, restricted geographic area, and little socio-cultural variability. Further, few studies have examined correlates of total sedentary time (SED) and screen time (ST) in the same population. This study aimed to investigate correlates of SED and ST in children around the world. Methods The sample included 5,844 children (45.6% boys, mean age = 10.4 years) from study sites in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, India, Kenya, Portugal, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Child- and parent-reported behavioral, household, and neighborhood characteristics and directly measured anthropometric and accelerometer data were obtained. Twenty-one potential correlates of SED and ST were examined using multilevel models, adjusting for sex, age, and highest parental education, with school and study site as random effects. Variables that were moderately associated with SED and/or ST in univariate analyses (p<0.10) were included in the final models. Variables that remained significant in the final models (p<0.05) were considered correlates of SED and/or ST. Results Children averaged 8.6 hours of daily SED, and 54.2% of children failed to meet ST guidelines. In all study sites, boys reported higher ST, were less likely to meet ST guidelines, and had higher BMI z-scores than girls. In 9 of 12 sites, girls engaged in significantly more SED than boys. Common correlates of higher SED and ST included poor weight status, not meeting physical activity guidelines, and having a TV or a computer in the bedroom. Conclusions In this global sample many common correlates of SED and ST were identified, some of which are easily modifiable (e.g., removing TV from the bedroom), and others that may require more intense behavioral interventions (e.g., increasing physical activity). Future work should incorporate these findings into the development of culturally meaningful public health messages.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0129622
Number of pages20
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright: © 2015 LeBlanc et al. This is an open
access article distributed under the terms of the
Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits
unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any
medium, provided the original author and source are


  • obesity
  • Young people
  • children
  • screen time
  • Adiposity


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