Screen-related Sedentary Behaviors: Children's and Parents' Attitudes, Motivations, and Practices

Published:November 16, 2009DOI:



      To investigate school-aged children's and parents' attitudes, social influences, and intentions toward excessive screen-related sedentary behavior (S-RSB).


      A cross-sectional study using a survey methodology.


      Elementary schools in London, Ontario, Canada.


      All grades 5 and 6 students, their parents, and their teachers in the participating schools were invited to voluntarily participate; 508 student–parent pairs completed the surveys.

      Main Outcome Measure

      Children's screen-related behaviors.


      Data were analyzed using the Independent Student t test to compare differences of continuous variables and the chi-square test to test for differences of categorical variables.


      Children spent 3.3 ± 0.15 (standard error) hours per day engaged in screen-related activities. Entertainment, spending time with family, and boredom were cited as the top 3 reasons for television viewing and video game playing. Compared to “low-screen users” (ie, < 2 hours/day), “high-screen users” (ie, ≥ 2 hours/day) had a less negative attitude toward excessive S-RSB and perceived loosened parental rules on screen use. Parents of high-screen users had a less negative attitude toward children's S-RSB, had fewer rules about their children's screen use, and were more likely to be sedentary themselves.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Intervention strategies aimed at reducing S-RSB should involve both parents and children and should focus on fostering behavioral changes and promoting parental role modeling.

      Key Words

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