Open Access Open Badges Research article

Socio-demographic, psychosocial and home-environmental attributes associated with adults' domestic screen time

Delfien Van Dyck12*, Greet Cardon2, Benedicte Deforche23, Neville Owen45, Katrien De Cocker2, Katrien Wijndaele126 and Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij2

Author Affiliations

1 Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), 1000 Brussels, Belgium

2 Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

3 Department of Human Biometrics and Biomechanics, Vrije Universiteit Brussels, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

4 Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, 8008 Melbourne, Australia

5 The University of Queensland, School of Population Health, QLD 4006 Brisbane, Australia

6 MRC Epidemiology Unit, Institute of Metabolic Science, CB2 0QQ Cambridge, UK

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:668  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-668

Published: 25 August 2011



Sedentary behaviors (involving prolonged sitting time) are associated with deleterious health consequences, independent of (lack of) physical activity. To inform interventions, correlates of prevalent sedentary behaviors need to be identified. We examined associations of socio-demographic, home-environmental and psychosocial factors with adults' TV viewing time and leisure-time Internet use; and whether psychosocial and environmental correlates differed according to gender, age and educational attainment.


This cross-sectional study was conducted in Ghent, Belgium, between March and May 2010. Respondents to a mail-out survey (n = 419; 20-65 years; mean age 48.5 [12.1] years; 47.3% men) completed a questionnaire on sedentary behaviors and their potential socio-demographic, psychosocial and home environmental correlates. Statistical analyses were performed using multiple linear regression models.


The independent variables explained 31% of the variance in TV viewing time and 38% of the variance in leisure-time Internet use. Higher education, greater perceived pros of and confidence about reducing TV time were negatively associated with TV viewing time; older age, higher body mass index, larger TV set size and greater perceived cons of reducing TV time showed positive associations. Perceived pros of and confidence about reducing Internet use were negatively associated with leisure-time Internet use; higher education, number of computers in the home, positive family social norms about Internet use and perceived cons of reducing Internet use showed positive associations. None of the socio-demographic factors moderated these associations.


Educational level, age, self-efficacy and pros/cons were the most important correlates identified in this study. If further cross-sectional and longitudinal research can confirm these findings, tailored interventions focusing on both psychosocial and environmental factors in specific population subgroups might be most effective to reduce domestic screen time.

TV viewing time; leisure-time Internet use; Belgium; sedentary behavior; ecological model