Longitudinal and cross-sectional associations of adherence to 24-hour movement guidelines with cardiometabolic risk

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2021 Oct 13. doi: 10.1111/sms.14081. Online ahead of print.


This study aimed to examine (1) adherence to 24 h movement guidelines over a 2 years follow-up in children aged 6-8 years and (2) association of this adherence with cardiometabolic risk factors. Physical activity and sleep were assessed by a monitor combining heart rate and accelerometry measurements. Screen time was reported by the parents. Body fat percentage, waist circumference, blood glucose, serum insulin, plasma lipids, and blood pressure were assessed, and a cardiometabolic risk score was calculated using z-scores. Children were classified as meeting the guidelines if they had on average ≥60 min/day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during the valid days; ≤120 min/day of screen time; and 9-11 h/day of sleep. In total, 485 children had valid data at baseline or at 2 years follow-up. Analyses were conducted using adjusted logistic and linear regression models. Most children adhered to the 24 h movement guidelines at baseline, but the adherence decreased over the 2 years follow-up. Meeting physical activity guidelines individually, or in combination with screen time and/or sleep, was longitudinally associated with a lower cardiometabolic risk score, insulin and waist circumference, and cross-sectionally additionally with lower diastolic blood pressure and higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. However, these associations became statistically non-significant after adjustment for body fat. In conclusion, meeting 24 h movement guidelines at baseline increases the odds of meeting them at 2 years follow-up in school-aged children. Furthermore, meeting 24 h movement guidelines is associated with lower levels of cardiometabolic risk factors, but these associations are partly explained by lower body fat. Thus, promoting movement behaviors, especially physical activity, and healthy weight in early childhood is important in supporting cardiometabolic health in children.

Keywords: body fat; metabolic profile; movement guidelines; pediatrics; prospective.