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Open Access Research article

Stability and change in screen-based sedentary behaviours and associated factors among Norwegian children in the transition between childhood and adolescence

Mekdes K Gebremariam1*, Torunn H Totland1, Lene F Andersen1, Ingunn H Bergh2, Mona Bjelland1, May Grydeland13, Yngvar Ommundsen2 and Nanna Lien1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, PO Box 1046 Blindern, N-0316 Oslo, Norway

2 Department of Coaching and Psychology, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway

3 Department of Sports Medicine, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway

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BMC Public Health 2012, 12:104  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-104

Published: 6 February 2012

Abstract

Background

In order to inform interventions to prevent sedentariness, more longitudinal studies are needed focusing on stability and change over time in multiple sedentary behaviours. This paper investigates patterns of stability and change in TV/DVD use, computer/electronic game use and total screen time (TST) and factors associated with these patterns among Norwegian children in the transition between childhood and adolescence.

Methods

The baseline of this longitudinal study took place in September 2007 and included 975 students from 25 control schools of an intervention study, the HEalth In Adolescents (HEIA) study. The first follow-up took place in May 2008 and the second follow-up in May 2009, with 885 students participating at all time points (average age at baseline = 11.2, standard deviation ± 0.3). Time used for/spent on TV/DVD and computer/electronic games was self-reported, and a TST variable (hours/week) was computed. Tracking analyses based on absolute and rank measures, as well as regression analyses to assess factors associated with change in TST and with tracking high TST were conducted.

Results

Time spent on all sedentary behaviours investigated increased in both genders. Findings based on absolute and rank measures revealed a fair to moderate level of tracking over the 2 year period. High parental education was inversely related to an increase in TST among females. In males, self-efficacy related to barriers to physical activity and living with married or cohabitating parents were inversely related to an increase in TST. Factors associated with tracking high vs. low TST in the multinomial regression analyses were low self-efficacy and being of an ethnic minority background among females, and low self-efficacy, being overweight/obese and not living with married or cohabitating parents among males.

Conclusions

Use of TV/DVD and computer/electronic games increased with age and tracked over time in this group of 11-13 year old Norwegian children. Interventions targeting these sedentary behaviours should thus be introduced early. The identified modifiable and non-modifiable factors associated with change in TST and tracking of high TST should be taken into consideration when planning such interventions.