Research priorities for child and adolescent physical activity and sedentary behaviours: an international perspective using a twin-panel Delphi procedure

Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2013 Oct 24;10:112. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-10-112.


Background: The quantity and quality of studies in child and adolescent physical activity and sedentary behaviour have rapidly increased, but research directions are often pursued in a reactive and uncoordinated manner.

Aim: To arrive at an international consensus on research priorities in the area of child and adolescent physical activity and sedentary behaviour.

Methods: Two independent panels, each consisting of 12 experts, undertook three rounds of a Delphi methodology. The Delphi methodology required experts to anonymously answer questions put forward by the researchers with feedback provided between each round.

Results: The primary outcome of the study was a ranked set of 29 research priorities that aimed to be applicable for the next 10 years. The top three ranked priorities were: developing effective and sustainable interventions to increase children's physical activity long-term; policy and/or environmental change and their influence on children's physical activity and sedentary behaviour; and prospective, longitudinal studies of the independent effects of physical activity and sedentary behaviour on health.

Conclusions: These research priorities can help to guide decisions on future research directions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Delphi Technique*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internationality*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Research
  • Sedentary Behavior*