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BMC Public Health. 2018 Jun 7;18(1):705. doi: 10.1186/s12889-018-5610-7.

Cross-sectional and prospective associations between sleep, screen time, active school travel, sports/exercise participation and physical activity in children and adolescents.

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Department of Sports Medicine, the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway.
Department of Sports Medicine, the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway.
Faculty of teacher Education and Sport, Western Norwegian University of Applied Sciences, Campus Sogndal, Sogndal, Norway.
Faculty of health sciences, Kristiania University College, Oslo, Norway.



The aim of this study was to investigate how sleep, screen time, active school travel and sport and/or exercise participation associates with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in nationally representative samples of Norwegian 9- and 15-y-olds, and whether these four behaviors at age nine predict change in MVPA from age nine to 15 years.


We pooled cross-sectional accelerometer and questionnaire data from 9- (n = 2366) and 15-y-olds (n = 1554) that participated in the first (2005/06) and second (2011/12) wave of the Physical Activity among Norwegian Children Study to investigate cross-sectional associations. To investigate prospective associations, we used data from a sub-sample that participated in both waves (at age nine and 15 years, n = 517).


Cross-sectional analyses indicated a modest, inverse association between screen time and MVPA among 9- (- 2.2 min/d (95% CI: -3.1, - 1.3)) and 15-y-olds (- 1.7 min/d (95% CI: -2.7, - 0.8)). Compared to their peers with 0-5 min/d of active travel to school, 9- and 15-y-olds with ≥16 min/d accumulated 7.2 (95% CI: 4.0, 10.4) and 9.0 (95% CI: 3.8, 14.1) more min/d of MVPA, respectively. Nine-y-old boys and 15-y-olds reporting ≥8 h/week of sports and/or exercise participation accumulated 14.7 (95% CI: 8.2, 21.3) and 17.9 (95% CI: 14.0, 21.8) more min/d of MVPA, respectively, than those reporting ≤2 h/week. We found no cross-sectional association between sleep duration and MVPA in either age group. None of the four behaviors predicted change in MVPA from age nine to 15 years (p ≥ 0.102).


Active travel to school and sport/exercise participation may be important targets for future interventions aimed at increasing MVPA in children and adolescents. However, future studies are needed to determine causality.


Accelerometer; Active travel; Exercise; Physical activty; Screen time; Sleep; Sport

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