Screen-based sedentary behaviours in geographic areas with different levels of childhood overweight and obesity: The Italian ZOOM8 study

Myriam Galfo, Laura D'Addezio, Laura Censi, Romana Roccaldo, Giordano Giostra, Dina D'Addesa, Amleto D'Amicis, Veronica Angelini, Noemi Bevilacqua, Giovina Catasta, Irene Fabbri, Myriam Galfo, Deborah Martone, Romana Roccaldo, Elisabetta Toti, Angela Spinelli, Giovanni Baglio, Anna Lamberti, Paola Nardone, Daniela GaleoneMaria Teresa Menzano, Maria Teresa Scotti, Maria Teresa Silani, Silvana Teti, Adriano Cattaneo, Paola D'Acapito, Claudia Carletti, Federica Pascali, Giordano Giostra, Giulia Cairella, Esmeralda Castronuovo, Giuseppina Fersini, Marina La Rocca, Simonetta Rizzo, Achille Cernigliaro, Giovanni Baglio, Giulia Cairella, Marcello Caputo, Margherita Caroli, Chiara Cattaneo, Franco Cavallo, Laura Censi, Amalia De Luca, Barbara De Mei, Daniela Galeone, Giordano Giostra, Anna Lamberti, Gianfranco Mazzarella, Paola Nardone, Giuseppe Perri, Maria Teresa Silani, Anna Rita Silvestri, Angela Spinelli, Lorenzo Spizzichino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e9473-1-e9473-11
JournalEpidemiology Biostatistics and Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Children
  • Screen time
  • Sedentary behaviour
  • TV viewing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Community and Home Care


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