Seasonal variation in children’s physical activity and sedentary time
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
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Atkin, A., Sharp, S., Harrison, F., Brage, S., & Van Sluijs, E. (2015). Seasonal variation in children’s physical activity and sedentary time. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 48 449-456. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000000786
Purpose: Understanding seasonal variation in physical activity is important for informing public health surveillance and intervention design. The aim of the current study was to describe seasonal variation in children’s objectively measured physical activity and sedentary time. Methods: Data are from the UK Millennium Cohort Study. Participants were invited to wear an accelerometer for seven days on five occasions between November 2008 and January 2010. Outcome variables were sedentary time (<100 counts per minute; min/day) and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA; >2241 counts per min; min/day). Season was characterised using a categorical variable (spring, summer, autumn, winter) and a continuous function of day of year. Cross-classified linear regression models were used to estimate the association of each of these constructs with the outcome variables. Modification of the seasonal variation by sex, weight status, urban/rural location, parental income and day of the week (week/weekend) was examined using interaction terms in regression models. Results: At least 1 wave of valid accelerometer data was obtained from 704 participants (47% male; baseline age 7.6(0.3) years). MVPA was lower in autumn and winter relative to spring, with the magnitude of this difference varying by week/weekend day, sex, weight status, urban/rural location and family income (p for interaction <0.05 in all cases). Total sedentary time was greater in autumn and winter compared to spring; the seasonal effect was stronger at the weekend than during the week (p for interaction <0.01). Conclusions: Lower levels of MVPA and elevated sedentary time support the implementation of intervention programmes during autumn and winter. Evidence of greater seasonal variation in weekend behaviour and amongst certain socio-demographic subgroups highlights targets for tailored intervention programmes.
season, accelerometer, sedentary behaviour, repeated measures
The co-operation of the participating families is gratefully acknowledged. The fourth sweep of the Millennium Cohort Study was funded by grants to Professor Health Joshi, former director of the study, from the Economic and Social Research Council and a consortium of government funders. The current director is Professor Lucinda Platt. The authors acknowledge: the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education for the use of these data; the UK Data Service for making them available; the MRC Centre of Epidemiology for Child Health (Grant reference G0400546), Institute of Child Health, University College London for creating the accelerometer data resource which was funded by the Wellcome Trust (grant reference 084686/Z/08/A). The institutions and funders acknowledged bear no responsibility for the analysis or interpretation of these data. The work of Andrew J Atkin, Flo Harrison, and Esther M F van Sluijs was supported, wholly or in part, by the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), a UKCRC Public Health Research Centre of Excellence (RES-590-28-0002). Funding from the British Heart Foundation, Department of Health, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, and the Wellcome Trust, under the auspices of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, is gratefully acknowledged. The work of Soren Brage, Stephen Sharp and Esther MF van Sluijs was supported by the Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12015/7, MC_UU_12015/3, MC_UU_12015/1).
Wellcome Trust (087636/Z/08/Z)
Wellcome Trust (102445/Z/13/Z)
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000000786
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/251211
Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/uk/