Associations between children's socioeconomic status, weight status, and sex, with screen-based sedentary behaviours and sport participation

Research into Exercise, Activity, and Children's Health Group, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK.
International journal of pediatric obesity: IJPO: an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity (Impact Factor: 3.03). 01/2009; 4(4):299-305. DOI: 10.3109/17477160902811215
Source: PubMed


The objective was to study associations between socioeconomic status (SES), weight status, and sex, with children's participation in sedentary behaviours and sport.
Children (aged 9-10 years; n = 6,337) completed a questionnaire to establish how long they spent in sedentary behaviours and sport participation during week days and weekend days. Height and weight were measured to calculate body mass index. Associations between dependent and independent variables were investigated using hierarchical loglinear analysis.
A significantly greater proportion of boys than girls spent > or = 1 h per weekday and weekend day watching television (TV) (p < 0.001), playing video games (p < 0.001), and participating in sport (p < 0.001). TV viewing and video gaming for > or = 1 h per day were inversely associated with SES (p = 0.001), whilst the greatest proportion of children participating in sport for > or = 1 h were in the highest SES quartile (p < 0.001). Overweight girls were more likely than normal weight girls to use the internet for > or = 1 h per weekend day (p < 0.001).
Relatively more lower SES children spent time in sedentary behaviours than sport participation. Weight status was not consistently associated with sedentary behaviours. Proportionately more boys than girls watched TV, played video games, and participated in sport, suggesting that boys find time for sedentary behaviours and physical activity. Efforts should be made to address inequalities in the prevalence of sedentary behaviours and sport participation for all children regardless of SES, weight status, or sex.

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Available from: Stuart J Fairclough,
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    • "Sex differences may partially be explained by the higher energy expenditure resulted from the higher frequency of physical activity in boys, as they practice more physical activity than girls. This result is similar to those from another study that found that boys spend more time in both sedentary behaviour and physical activities than girls (Fairclough et al., 2009). "
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