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Eur J Public Health. 2011 Apr;21(2):151-7. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckq035. Epub 2010 Mar 19.

Sedentary behaviours and socio-economic status in Spanish adolescents: the AVENA study.

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  • 1GENUD (Growth, Exercise and Nutrition in Adolescence) Research Group, Department of Physiotherapy and Nursing, University of Zaragoza, Spain.



This study aimed to describe the influence of socio-economic status (SES) on the prevalence sedentary behaviours among Spanish adolescents.


Cross-sectional data from Spanish adolescents from the Alimentación y Valoración del Estado Nutricional de los Adolescentes (AVENA) Study (2002). A national representative sample of 1776 adolescents aged 13-18.5 years provided information about time spent watching television (TV), playing with computer or videogames and studying. Parental education and occupation were assessed as SES. Participants were categorized by gender, age, parental education and occupation. Logistic regression models were used.


No gender differences were found for TV viewing. For computer and videogames use (weekdays), more boys played >3 h/day (P < 0.001), whereas a higher percentage of girls reported studying >3 h/day (P < 0.001). Among boys, parental education and occupation were inversely associated with TV viewing, parental occupation directly associated with study and maternal education inversely with computer and videogames use during weekdays (all P < 0.05). For girls, parental occupation was inversely associated with TV viewing.


Spanish adolescents presented different sedentary patterns according to age, gender and SES. Boys reported more time engaged in electronic games, whereas girls reported more time studying. Parental occupation had more influence than parental education on the time spent in sedentary behaviours.

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