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J Adolesc. 2006 Feb;29(1):19-32. Epub 2005 Apr 1.

Naturally occurring changes in time spent watching television are inversely related to frequency of physical activity during early adolescence.

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  • 1Department of Kinesiology, The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 332 Louise Freer Hall, 906 South Goodwin Avenue Urbana, IL 61820-3895, USA.


In this longitudinal study, we examined the relationship between changes in time spent watching television and playing video games with frequency of leisure-time physical activity across a 2-year period among adolescent boys and girls (N=4594). Latent growth modelling indicated that a decrease in time spent watching television was associated with an increase in frequency of leisure-time physical activity. That relationship was strong in magnitude and independent of sex, socioeconomic status, smoking, and the value participants placed on health, appearance, and achievement. Our results encourage the design of interventions that reduce television watching as a possible means of increasing adolescent physical activity.

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