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Aust N Z J Public Health. 2006 Apr;30(2):137-42.

Screenieboppers and extreme screenies: the place of screen time in the time budgets of 10-13 year-old Australian children.

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School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, PO Box 2471, Adelaide, South Australia 5001.



Excessive 'screen time' has been associated with a range of psychosocial disturbances and increasing pediatric obesity. This study describes the magnitude, distribution, composition and time-distribution of children's screen use; examines correlates of screen use; and characterises 'extreme' screen users (top quartile).


1,039 South Australian children aged 10-13 years old completed a multimedia 24-hour activity recall diary on 2-4 occasions in 2002, including at least one school day and one non-school day.


The median screen time was 229 minutes.d(-1). This was higher in boys (264 vs. 196 minutes; p<0.001) and on non-school days (260 vs. 190 minutes; p<0.001), increased with age (p=0.003), and decreased with socio-economic status (SES; p=0.003). Television consumed 73% of all screen time, video games 19%, non-game computer use 6%, and cinema 2%. The top quartile of screen users were more likely to be boys (OR=3.8), have low physical activity (OR=4.3), spend >25% of screen time playing video games (OR=1.8), sleep less, and be of lower SES.


Interventions to reduce screen time should target inactive, low-SES boys, encourage earlier bedtimes, and limit video game use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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