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Chronic Dis Inj Can. 2011 Sep;31(4):141-6.

Screen-based sedentary behaviours among a nationally representative sample of youth: are Canadian kids couch potatoes?

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Department of Health Studies and Gerontology, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.



To determine the percentage of Canadian youth meeting screen-time guidelines and to identify characteristics associated with different screen-time behaviours.


Using nationally representative data collected from the 2008/2009 Youth Smoking Survey (YSS), we analyzed three screen-time behaviours, cigarette smoking, weekly spending money, self esteem, region and grade by sex, and conducted four logistic regression models to examine factors associated with more than 2 hours a day of sedentary screen time.


Of 51 922 Canadian youth in grades 6 to 12, 50.9% spent more than 2 hours per day in screen-based behaviours. The average daily screen time was 7.8 (± 2.3) hours. Males and current smokers were more likely to report over 2 hours per day watching TV and videos or playing video games, whereas students in higher grades and those with weekly spending money were more likely to report playing or surfing on a computer. Youth with higher self-esteem were less likely to report spending over 2 hours per day in each of the three screen-time behaviours examined.


Developing a better understanding of the factors associated with more hours of screen time is required to develop and target interventions that reduce screen-time behaviours.

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