Interrelationships of adolescent physical activity, screen-based sedentary behaviour, and social and psychological health

Int J Public Health. 2009 Sep;54 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):191-8. doi: 10.1007/s00038-009-5410-z.


Objectives: To examine how adolescent physical activity (PA) and screen-based media sedentary behaviours (SBM) relate to psychological and social health and identify cross-national differences in these relationships.

Methods: Associations were examined in five regions using two Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) countries from each.

Results: Self-reported psychological and social health indices such as self-image, perceived health status, and Life Satisfaction were positively related to PA in all five regions but, with a few exceptions, negatively related to SBM. Negative health indices such as health complaints and tobacco use were negatively related to PA but, with exceptions, positively related to SBM. Significant regional differences were present.

Conclusions: Regional differences in correlates of PA and SBM suggest cultural differences in potential effects of PA and SBM and the need to tailor school and public health efforts to the different meanings of PA and SBM for positive and negative health consequences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Europe
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Substance-Related Disorders*