Abstract MP029: Higher Television Viewing Relates to Less Exercise in a Representative Sample of Irish 9 Year Olds
INTRODUCTION: Television (TV) viewing is blamed as a contributor to low physical activity levels in children, yet it is unclear if such a sedentary behavior actually displaces exercise. HYPOTHESIS: Children who engage in higher levels of TV viewing will be less active than children who watch <1 hour of TV/day.
METHODS: This study utilized the ‘Growing up in Ireland’ (2008) first wave of data which is a longitudinal study of a representative sample of over 8,000 9 year olds. The main caregiver reported the number of hours/day the child spent watching TV/video/DVDs and responses were then classified as: <1, 1-3 and >3 hours. The number of days out of the previous 14 that the child had engaged in ‘hard’ and ‘light’ exercise for at least 20 minutes was also reported. Responses were classified as ≥9 days (highest possible answer) or ≤8 days out of 14. Odds ratios were calculated using logistic regression.
RESULTS: The sample consisted of 3956 male and 4152 female 9 year olds. Overall, 12.4% of males and 14.1% of females, 32.0% of males and 32.6% of females and 4.4% of males and 4.5% of females watched <1 hour, 1-3 hours and >3 hours of TV/day respectively. Compared to children who watched less than 1 hour of TV/day, children who watched 1-3 or >3 hours/day had significantly lower odds of engaging in exercise (Table 1).
|Hours of TV/Video/DVD||‘Hard Exercise’||‘Light Exercise’|
|1 to 3||0.8 (0.7-0.9)||0.7 (0.6-0.9)||0.7 (0.6-0.8)||0.8 (0.7-0.9)|
|>3||0.4 (0.3-0.6)||0.5 (0.4-0.6)||0.4 (0.3-0.5)||0.5 (0.4-0.6)|
Analysis controlled for social class (defined from the parent’s occupation and categorized under professional managers, non-manual/skilled manual and semi-skilled/unskilled manual) CONCLUSION: Children with higher levels of TV viewing were less likely to engage in hard or light exercise. These findings support the displacement hypothesis where sedentary behaviors reduce children’s amount of exercise.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.