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An evidence-update on the prospective relationship between childhood sedentary behaviour and biomedical health indicators: a systematic review and meta-analysis

03 Jun 2016

Summary

Evidence for adverse health effects of excessive sedentary behaviour in children is predominantly based on cross-sectional studies, measuring TV viewing as proxy for sedentary behaviour. This systematic review and meta-analysis summarizes the evidence on the prospective relationship between childhood sedentary behaviour and biomedical health indicators, overall and stratified by type of sedentary behaviour (TV viewing, computer use/games, screen time and objective sedentary time).

PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO and Cochrane were systematically searched till January 2015. Methodological quality of all included studies was scored, and a best evidence synthesis was applied.

We included 109 studies of which 19 were of high quality. We found moderate-to-strong evidence for a relationship of overall sedentary time with some anthropometrics (overweight/obesity, weight-for-height), one cardiometabolic biomarker (HDL-cholesterol) and some fitness indicators (fitness, being unfit). For other health indicators, we found no convincing evidence because of inconsistent or non-significant findings. The evidence varied by type of sedentary behaviour. The meta-analysis indicated that each additional baseline hour of TV viewing (β = 0.01, 95%CI = [−0.002; 0.02]) or computer use (β = 0.00, 95%CI = [−0.004; 0.01]) per day was not significantly related with BMI at follow-up.

We conclude that the evidence for a prospective relationship between childhood sedentary behaviour and biomedical health is in general unconvincing.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Obesity Reviews