Family circumstance, sedentary behaviour and physical activity in adolescents living in England: Project STIL
Identification of non-modifiable correlates of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in youth contributes to the development of effective targeted intervention strategies. The purpose of this research was to examine the relationships between family circumstances (e.g. socio-economic status, single vs. dual parent household, presence/absence of siblings) and leisure-time physical activity and sedentary behaviours in adolescents. A total of 1171 adolescents (40% male; mean age 14.8 years) completed ecological momentary assessment diaries every 15 minutes for 3 weekdays outside of school hours and 1 weekend day. Analysed behaviours were sports/exercise, active travel, TV viewing, computer use, sedentary socialising (hanging-out, using the telephone, sitting and talking) and total sedentary behaviour. Linear regression was employed to estimate levels of association between individual family circumstance variables and each behaviour. Compared to girls from higher socioeconomic status (SES) groups, girls from low SES groups reported higher weekend TV viewing and higher weekday total sedentary behaviour. For boys, single parent status was associated with greater total sedentary behaviour compared to those from dual parent households. Boys and girls from low socio-economic neighbourhoods reported lower participation in sports/exercise compared to those living in higher socio-economic neighbourhoods. Associations were not consistent across behaviours or between genders. Overall, findings indicate that boys from single parent households and girls from low socio-economic families may be at increased risk of high sedentary behaviour. Those living in low socioeconomic neighbourhoods may be at increased risk of reduced participation in sports and exercise.