Purpose: Sedentary behavior is associated with obesity in youth. Understanding correlates of specific sedentary behaviors can inform the development of interventions to reduce sedentary time. The current research examines correlates of leisure computer use and television viewing among adolescents in California.
Methods: Using data from the 2005 California Health Interview Survey, we examined individual, family, and environmental correlates of two sedentary behaviors among 4,029 adolescents: leisure computer use and television watching.
Results: Linear regression analyses adjusted for a range of factors indicated several differences in the correlates of television watching and computer use. Correlates of additional time spent watching television included male sex, American Indian and African American race, lower household income, lower levels of physical activity, lower parent educational attainment, and additional hours worked by parents. Correlates of a greater amount of time spent using the computer for fun included older age, Asian race, higher household income, lower levels of physical activity, less parental knowledge of free-time activities, and living in neighborhoods with higher proportions of nonwhite residents and higher proportions of low-income residents. Only physical activity was associated similarly with both watching television and computer use.
Conclusions: These results suggest that correlates of time spent on television watching and leisure computer use are different. Reducing screen time is a potentially successful strategy in combating childhood obesity, and understanding differences in the correlates of different screen time behaviors can inform the development of more effective interventions to reduce sedentary time.
Copyright © 2013 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.