Background: Screen-based sedentary behaviours (SbSB) likely have a negative impact on many aspects of youth health and development. The purpose of this study was to describe the SbSB and to examine the associated factors in a sample of Italian school children.
Methods: 2129 children, aged 8-9 years, from the three geographical areas of Italy with different levels of childhood overweight/obesity were involved. Body weight and height were measured. SbSB were evaluated using a parent-reported questionnaire with items about the time spent watching television (TV) and using computer/playstation/other electronic games. Pearson’s chi-square test and logistic regression analysis were conducted to study possible associated factors.
Results: More time was spent in SbSB during non-school days than on school days. More males than females watched television exceeding the recommended 2 hours/day and spent the same time using computer/playstation/other electronic games. The presence of a TV in the child’s bedroom was significantly associated with geographical area, and inversely associated with maternal education level. Moreover, children with a TV in the bedroom had higher odds of being overweight/obese (OR=1.36; 95% CI 1.07-1.73) and watching TV for more than 2 hours/day (OR=1.53; 95% CI 1.14-2.04 on weekdays; OR=1.30; 95% CI 1.04-1.62 on weekends) than those without a TV. Child’s gender, mother’s age and education were predictors of the SbSB.
Conclusions: Children from the studied Italian regions spent a considerable amount of time in SbSB, exceeding media recommendations, especially in the Southern area. Policies should be tailored geographically and especially aimed at caretakers to enforce rules regarding SbSB.
- Screen time
- Sedentary behaviour
- TV viewing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Community and Home Care