Systematic review of sedentary behaviour and health indicators in school-aged children and youth: an update Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • This systematic review is an update examining the relationships between objectively and subjectively measured sedentary behaviour and health indicators in children and youth aged 5–17 years. EMBASE, PsycINFO, and Medline were searched in December 2014, and date limits were imposed (≥February 2010). Included studies were peer-reviewed and met the a priori-determined population (apparently healthy children and youth, mean age: 5–17 years), intervention (durations, patterns, and types of sedentary behaviours), comparator (various durations, patterns, and types of sedentary behaviours), and outcome (critical: body composition, metabolic syndrome/cardiovascular disease risk factors, behavioural conduct/pro-social behaviour, academic achievement; important: fitness, self-esteem) study criteria. Quality of evidence by outcome was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation framework. Due to heterogeneity, a narrative analysis was conducted. A total of 235 studies (194 unique samples) were included representing 1 657 064 unique participants from 71 different countries. Higher durations/frequencies of screen time and television (TV) viewing were associated with unfavourable body composition. Higher duration/frequency of TV viewing was also associated with higher clustered cardiometabolic risk scores. Higher durations of TV viewing and video game use were associated with unfavourable behavioural conduct/pro-social behaviour. Higher durations of reading and doing homework were associated with higher academic achievement. Higher duration of screen time was associated with lower fitness. Higher durations of screen time and computer use were associated with lower self-esteem. Evidence ranged from “very low” to “moderate” quality. Higher quality studies using reliable and valid sedentary behaviour measures should confirm this largely observational evidence.


  • Carson, Valerie
  • Hunter, Stephen
  • Kuzik, Nicholas
  • Gray, Casey E
  • Poitras, Veronica J
  • Chaput, Jean-Philippe
  • Saunders, Travis J
  • Katzmarzyk, Peter T
  • Okely, Anthony D
  • Connor Gorber, Sarah
  • Kho, Michelle
  • Sampson, Margaret
  • Lee, Helena
  • Tremblay, Mark S

publication date

  • June 2016

has subject area