Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

Objectively Measured Sedentary Time in Children and Their Parents

1 Physical Activity and Health group, School of Psychological Science and Health, Graham Hills Building, 40 George Street, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
2 Institute of Clinical Exercise and Health Science, School of Science and Sport, University of the West of Scotland, Hamilton, UK

Special Issues: Advances in sedentary behavior research and translation

Background: No studies have examined associations in objectively measured sedentary time between parents and young people using activPAL posture sensors, which provide a more accurate estimate of sedentary time compared to accelerometer-based devices. This study examines patterns and associations of activPAL measured sedentary time and number of sedentary breaks on weekdays and weekend days in preschool (2–4 yrs), primary (5–11 yrs) and secondary school aged children (12–17 yrs) and their parents. Methods: 51 parents (16 M, 35 F; mean age 39 (+/-8) yrs) and 51 children (28 M, 23 F; mean age 9 (+/-5) yrs) wore an activPAL monitor for 7 days to measure time spent sedentary and number of breaks in sedentary time. Data was assessed by Pearson’s correlations and t-tests. Results: Secondary school children spent a greater percentage of their day sedentary (64.5 (+/-8.5) %) than preschool (57.4 (+/-7.3) %) and primary school children (57.2 (+/-5) %). For the secondary school parent dyad, there were no significant positive associations for time sedentary (r = -0.167, p = 0.494) and percentage of day sedentary (r = -0.247, p = 0.308). For the primary school parent dyad, there were medium, but non-significant positive correlations for time sedentary (r = 0.38, p = 0.146) and percentage of day sedentary (r = 0.363, p = 0.167). For the preschool parent dyad, there were medium—large positive correlations for percentage of waking day sedentary at weekends (r = 0.479, p = 0.083) and number of sedentary breaks (r = 0.648, p = 0.012) at weekends. Conclusions: There were positive associations in sedentary time between primary school children and their parents, and between preschool children and their parents at the weekend. Thus, interventions aimed at reducing sedentary time of parents and children together, particularly at the weekend for young children, may be effective in these age groups. Secondary school children were more sedentary and had fewer sedentary breaks than younger children, thus interventions should promote breaks in sedentary time as well as reducing total sedentary time in this age group
  Article Metrics


1. Sedentary Behaviour Research Network. (2012). Letter to the Editor: Standardized use of the terms “sedentary” and “sedentary behaviours”. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 37: 540-542.

2. Tanaka C, Reilly JJ, Huang WY (2014) Longitudinal changes in objectively measured sedentary behaviour and their relationship with adiposity in children and adolescents: systematic review and evidence appraisal. Obes Rev 15: 791-803.    

3. LeBlanc AG, Katzmarzyk PT, Barreira TV, et al. (2015) 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. PLoS ONE 10: e0129622.    

4. Cooper AR, Goodman A, Page AS, et al. (2015) Objectively measured physical activity and sedentary time in youth: the International children’s accelerometry database (ICAD). Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 12: 113.    

5. Tremblay MS, LeBlanc AG, Kho ME, et al. (2011) Systematic review of sedentary behaviour and health indicators in school-aged children and youth. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 8: 98.    

6. Verloigne MT, Lippevelde WV, Maes L, et al. (2012) Self-reported TV and computer time do not represent accelerometer-derived total sedentary time in 10 to 12-year-olds. Eur J Public Health 23: 30-32.

7. Chinapaw MJM, Proper KI, Brug J, et al. (2011) Relationship between young peoples’ sedentary behaviour and biomedical health indicators: a systematic review of prospective studies. Obes Rev 12: e621-e632.    

8. Chinapaw M, Altenburg T, Brug J (2015) Sedentary behaviour and health in children: Evaluating the evidence. Prev Med 70: 1-2.    

9. Proper KI, Singh AS, Van Mechelen W, et al. (2011) Sedentary Behaviors and Health Outcomes Among Adults: A Systematic Review of Prospective Studies. Am J Prev Med 40: 174-182.

10. Thorp AA, Owen N, Neuhaus M, et al. (2011) Sedentary Behaviors and Subsequent Health Outcomes in Adults: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies, 1996–2011. Am J Prev Med 41: 207-215.

11. Biddle SJ, Pearson N, Ross GM, et al. (2010) Tracking of sedentary behaviours of young people: a systematic review. Prev Med 51: 345-351.    

12. Biddle SJH, Mutrie N, Gorely T (2015) Psychology of Physical Activity, 3rd Edn, London: Routledge, 368-389.

13. Pate RR, Mitchell JA, Byun W, et al. (2011) Sedentary Behaviour in Youth. Br J Sports Med 45: 906-913.    

14. Hoyos Cillero I, Jago R (2010) Systematic review of correlates of screen-viewing among young children. Prev Med 51: 3-10.    

15. Hinkley T, Salmon J, Okely AD, et al. (2010) Correlates of sedentary behaviours in preschool children: a review. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 7: 66.    

16. Duch H, Fisher EM, Ensari I, et al. (2013) Screen time use in children under 3 years old: a systematic review of correlates. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 10: 102.    

17. Arundell L, Fletcher E, Salmon J, et al. (2016) The correlates of after-school sedentary behaviour among children aged 5-18 years: a systematic review. BMC Public Health 16: 58.

18. Huang WY, Wong SH, Salmon J (2013). Correlates of physical activity and screen-based behaviors in Chinese children. J Sci Med Sport 16: 509-514.    

19. Uijtdewilligen L, Nauta J, Singh AS (2011) Determinants of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in young people: a review and quality synthesis of prospective studies. Br J Sports Med 45:896-905

20. Xu H, Wen LM, Rissel C (2015) Associations of parental influences with physical activity and screen time among young children: a systematic review. J Obes 1-23.

21. Verloigne M, Van Lippevelde W, Bere E, et al. (2015) Individual and family environmental correlates of television and computer time in 10-to 12-year-old European children: the ENERGY-project. BMC Public Health 15: 1.

22. Verloigne M, Van Lippevelde W, Maes L, et al. (2012) Family and school-based correlates of energy balance related behaviours in 10-to 12-year-old children: A systematic review within the ENERGY-project. Public Health Nutr 15: 1380-1395.    

23. Lubans DR, Hesketh K, Cliff DP, et al. (2011) A systematic review of the validity and reliability of sedentary behaviour measures used with children and adolescents. Obes Rev 12: 781-99.    

24. Clark BK, Healy GN, Winkler EA et al. (2011) Relationship of television time with accelerometer-derived sedentary time: NHANES. Med Sci Sports Exerc 43: 822-828.

25. Atkin AJ, Corder K, Ekelund U, et al. (2013) Determinants of change in children’s sedentary time. PLoS One 8: e67627.

26. Salmon J, Timperio A, Telford A, et al. (2005) Association of family environment with children’s television viewing and with low level of physical activity. Obes Res 13: 1939-1951.    

27. King AC, Parkinson KN, Adamson AJ, et al. (2010) Correlates of objectively measured physical activity and sedentary behaviour in English children. Eur J Public Health 21: 424-431.

28. Sluijs EMF, Page A, Ommundsen Y, et al. (2010) Behavioural and social correlates of sedentary time in young people. Br J Sports Med 44: 747-755.

29. Janssen X, Basterfield L, Parkinson KN, et al. (2015) Determinants of changes in sedentary time and breaks in sedentary time among 9 and 12 year old children. Prev Med Reports 2: 880-885.    

30. Jago R, Fox KR, Page AS, et al. (2010) Parent and child physical activity and sedentary time: Do active parents foster active children? BMC Public Health 10: 194.

31. Fuemmeler BF, Anderson CB, Mâsse LC (2011) Parent-child relationship of directly measured physical activity. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 8: 17.    

32. Hesketh KR, Goodfellow L, Ekelund U, et al. (2014) Activity Levels in Mothers and Their Preschool Children. Pediatrics 133: e973-e980.    

33. Kang M and Rowe DA (2015) Issues and Challenges in Sedentary Behavior Measurement. Meas Phys Edu Exer Sci 19: 105-115.    

34. De Decker E, De Craemer M, Santos-Lozano A, et al. (2013) Validity of the ActivPAL and the ActiGraph monitors in preschoolers. Med Sci Sports Exerc 45: 2002-11.

35. Healy GN, Dunstan DW, Salmon J, et al. (2008). Breaks in sedentary time beneficial associations with metabolic risk. Diabetes care 31: 661-666.    

36. Martin A, McNeill M, Penpraze V, et al. (2011) Objective measurement of habitual sedentary behavior in pre-school children: comparison of activPAL With Actigraph monitors. Pediatr Exerc Sci 23: 468-76.    

Basterfield L, Adamson AJ, Pearce MS, et al. (2011) Stability of habitual physical activity and sedentary behavior monitoring by accelerometry in 6-to 8-year-olds. J Phys Act Health 8: 543-547.

37.Basterfield L, Adamson AJ, Pearce MS, et al. (2011) Stability of habitual physical activity and sedentary behavior monitoring by accelerometry in 6-to 8-year-olds. J Phys Act Health 8: 543-547.    

Copyright Info: © 2016, Adrienne R Hughes, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Article outline

Show full outline
Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved