Physical Activity and Screen Time: Trends in U.S. Children Aged 9 to 13 Years, 2002-2006

Dept of Communications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.
Journal of Physical Activity and Health (Impact Factor: 1.95). 05/2011; 9(4):508-15.
Source: PubMed


We examined trends of physical activity and screen time among nationally representative samples of children aged 9-13 years to explore whether children overall are becoming less physically active and less likely to be in compliance with screen time recommendations.
We analyzed Youth Media Campaign Longitudinal Survey data for trends and demographic patterns of free time and organized physical activity, and hours and minutes of watching television and playing video or computer games. Child-parent dyads for 2002 (N = 3114), 2004 (N = 5177), and 2006 (N = 1200) were analyzed.
On the day before the interview, and for free time physical activity in the past week, children reported a significant increase in physical activity from 2002-2006. Screen time levels were stable overall; 76.4% of children met the recommendations of 2 hours or less of daily screen time.
Levels of physical activity among U.S. children aged 9-13 years were stable, or levels slightly improved from 2002-2006. Except for some subgroup differences, trends for compliance with screen time recommendations were also stable from 2002-2006 for U.S. children aged 9-13 years.

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Available from: Carrie D Patnode, Apr 03, 2014
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    • "Overall time spent in screen-based behaviours therefore remains about the same over this time frame [17,18]. However, there is no consistent pattern of time trends in sedentary behaviour across different studies [19-22]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Studies in youth highlight that moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and screen-time behaviours such as television viewing and PC use are associated with a range of health outcomes. However, little is known about recent trends in these behaviours in adolescents. This paper presents time trends in German adolescents' television time, non-gaming PC use as well as MVPA from 2002 to 2010. Data were derived from the cross-sectional German Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Analyses were based on 16,918 11-to 15-year olds boys (49.1%) and girls. Outcome variables were time spent in TV viewing and using a PC (weekday and weekend day) as well as the number of days achieving 60 minutes of MVPA. Changes in both screen-time behaviours and MVPA over time were analysed using sex-specific linear regression, controlling for age and family affluence. TV viewing on weekdays, but not at weekends, declined steadily over time with a difference between 2002 and 2010 of 12.4 min/day in girls and 18.3 min/day in boys (p for trend < .01). We found a strong increase in PC use for non-gaming purposes over time for girls only, with a difference between 2002 and 2010 of 54.1 min/weekday and 68.8 min/weekend day (p < .001). For MVPA we found a slight statistically significant increase in terms of meeting PA guidelines as well as days/week in MVPA for boys and girls (p < .001). In 2010 14.0% of girls and 19.9% of boys met PA guideline. Although MVPA increased from 2002 to 2010 in German adolescents, the time spent in MVPA was still low. Despite the observed decrease in TV viewing, there was no overall decline in the observed screen-based behaviours, especially for girls. This is mainly due to a marked increase in use of a PC for chatting on-line, internet, emailing, homework etc. among girls during the last ten years which outweighs the corresponding decrease in TV viewing. The findings highlight a need for strategies and interventions aimed at reducing screen-time behaviours and promoting MVPA.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · BMC Public Health
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    • "Few studies have assessed the longitudinal pattern of screen time activity [26-29]. A recent American study showed that levels of screen time activity were stable in a nationally representative sample of children aged 9–13 year olds from 2001–2006 [26]. An Australian study found that from 1997 to 2001 there was a decrease in number of children who met the guideline of less than 2 hours of screen time activity [27]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background There has been an increase in screen-based communication, leading to concerns about the negative health effects of screen-based activities in children and adolescents. The present study aimed to (1) analyze changes in screen time activity in Norwegian children from 2001 to 2008, and (2) to analyze associations between the changes in screen time activity over time and sex, grade level and parental educational level. Methods Within the project Fruits and Vegetables Make the Marks (FVMM), 1488 6th and 7th grade pupils from 27 Norwegian elementary schools completed a questionnaire including a question about time spent on television viewing and personal computer use in 2001 and 1339 pupils from the same schools completed the same questionnaire in 2008. Data were analyzed by multilevel linear mixed models. Results The proportions of 6th and 7th grade pupils at the 27 schools that reported screen time activity outside school of 2 hours/day or more decreased from 55% to 45% (p<0.001) from 2001 to 2008 when adjusting for sex, grade level and parental education. The decrease was most evident in 6th graders (51% to 37%) and in children with highly educated parents (54% to 39%). Conclusion The present study shows that there has been a marked reduction in screen time activity outside school in this group of Norwegian 10–12 year olds from 2001 to 2008.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · BMC Public Health
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: The high prevalence of adolescent obesity in the United States has been attributed to population changes in physical activity (PA), sedentary behaviors, and dietary behaviors. This study examines 8-year trends in these behaviors in US adolescents ages 11 to 16. Methods: Nationally representative samples of US students in grades 6 to 10 were recruited during the 2001-2002 (N = 14607), 2005-2006 (N = 9150), and 2009-2010 (N = 10848) school years by using multistage stratified designs, with census regions and grades as strata, and school districts as the primary sampling units. African-American and Hispanic students were oversampled to obtain better estimates for those groups. Using the Health Behavior in School-aged Children quadrennial surveys, identical questions assessed BMI, PA, and sedentary and dietary behaviors at each school year. Logistic and linear regression analyses were conducted taking into account the sampling design and controlling for age, gender, race/ethnicity, and family affluence. Results: Across the quadrennial surveys, significant increases were identified in number of days with at least 60 minutes of PA, daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, eating breakfast on weekdays and weekends, and BMI. Television viewing and consumption of sweets and sweetened beverages decreased across this same period. These same patterns were seen in all racial/ethnic groups. Conclusions: These patterns suggest that public health efforts to improve the obesity-related behaviors of US adolescents may be having some success. However, alternative explanations for the increase in BMI over the same period need to be considered.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2013 · PEDIATRICS
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