Association Between Television Viewing and Physical Activity in 10-Year-Old Brazilian Children

J Phys Act Health. 2015 Oct;12(10):1401-8. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2014-0406. Epub 2015 Mar 31.


Background: Studies have found an association between television (TV) viewing and physical activity levels. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between TV viewing and physical activity in 10-year-old Brazilian children.

Methods: The sample consisted of 485 children. Self-reported TV viewing on weekdays and weekends was assessed by questionnaire. An Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometer was used to monitor the range of physical activity intensities (including moderate-to-vigorous physical activity; MVPA), sedentary behavior (SB) and steps/day over 7 days.

Results: Daily MVPA was highest among children viewing TV <1 hour/day (69 min) compared with children viewing 1 to 2 hours/day (61 min), 3 to 4 hours/day (55 min) and ≥ 5 hours/day (59 min) on weekdays (P = .0015). Differences in MVPA were not observed across TV categories on weekends. The prevalence of reaching 60 min/day of MVPA and 12,000 steps/day on weekdays was significantly greater in children viewing ≤ 2 hours/day (51.7% and 23.5%, respectively) compared with those viewing > 2 hours/day (38.6%, P = .0058; and 15.1%, P = .0291, respectively). There was no difference in SB across TV viewing categories.

Conclusion: Time spent in MVPA and the frequency of meeting MVPA guidelines were significantly higher among children viewing ≤ 2 hours/day of TV on weekdays compared with those viewing more.

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry
  • Brazil
  • Child
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Recreation*
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Self Report
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Television / statistics & numerical data*