Physical activity and screen-time viewing among elementary school-aged children in the United States from 2009 to 2010

JAMA Pediatr. 2013 Mar 1;167(3):223-9. doi: 10.1001/2013.jamapediatrics.122.


OBJECTIVES To describe the percentage of children who met physical activity and screen-time recommendations and to examine demographic differences. Recommendations for school-aged children include 60 minutes of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and no more than 2 hours per day of screen-time viewing. DESIGN Cross-sectional study. SETTING Data from the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a representative sample of the US population. PARTICIPANTS Analysis included 1218 children 6 to 11 years of age. MAIN EXPOSURES Age, race/ethnicity, sex, income, family structure, and obesity status. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Proxy-reported adherence to physical activity and screen-time recommendations, separately and concurrently. RESULTS Based on proxy reports, overall, 70% of children met physical activity recommendations, and 54% met screen-time viewing recommendations. Although Hispanics were less likely to meet physical activity recommendations (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.60 [95% CI, 0.38-0.95]), they were more likely to meet screen-time recommendations compared with non-Hispanic whites (aOR, 1.69 [95% CI, 1.18-2.43]). Only 38% met both recommendations concurrently. Age (9-11 years vs 6-8 years: aOR, 0.57 [95% CI, 0.38-0.85]) and obesity (aOR, 0.53 [95% CI, 0.38-0.73]) were inversely associated with concurrent adherence to both recommendations. CONCLUSIONS Fewer than 4 in 10 children met both physical activity and screen-time recommendations concurrently. The prevalence of sedentary behavior was higher in older children. Low levels of screen-time viewing may not necessarily predict higher levels of physical activity.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Computers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnicity
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Obesity
  • Racial Groups
  • Sedentary Behavior* / ethnology
  • Television / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States
  • Video Games / statistics & numerical data*