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Obes Rev. 2017 Feb;18 Suppl 1:7-14. doi: 10.1111/obr.12508.

Interactions between sleep, movement and other non-movement behaviours in the pathogenesis of childhood obesity.

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Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Applied Human Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Research examining the health effects of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep on different health outcomes has largely been conducted independently or in isolation of the other behaviours. However, the fact that time is finite (i.e. 24 h) suggests that the debate on whether or not the influence of a single behaviour is independent of another one is conceptually incorrect. Time spent in one behaviour should naturally depend on the composition of the rest of the day. Recent evidence using more appropriate analytical approaches to deal with this methodological issue shows that the combination of sleep, movement and non-movement behaviours matters and all components of the 24-h movement continuum should be targeted to enhance health and prevent childhood obesity. The objective of this review is to discuss research investigating how combinations of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep are related to childhood obesity. Emerging statistical approaches (e.g. compositional data analysis) that can provide a good understanding of the best 'cocktail' of behaviours associated with lower adiposity and improved health are also discussed. Finally, future research directions are provided. Collectively, it becomes clearer that guidelines and public health interventions should target all movement behaviours synergistically to optimize health of children and youth around the world.


Adiposity; physical activity; sedentary behaviour; sleep

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