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Open Access Research article

Changes in screen time activity in Norwegian children from 2001 to 2008: two cross sectional studies

Nina C Øverby1*, Knut-Inge Klepp2 and Elling Bere1

Author affiliations

1 Department of Public Health, Sport and Nutrition, Faculty of Health and Sport, University of Agder, Kristiansand, 4604, Norway

2 Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, 0316, Norway

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:80  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-80

Published: 29 January 2013

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.

Keywords:
Screen time; Children; Norway