Adolescents sleep, screen-time, and physical activity guidelines in the United Kingdom

Researchers in the UK have examined sleep, screen-time (ST) and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) guidelines and their association with physical, social and mental health outcomes in adolescents.

Data was collected from members of the UK-representative Millennium Cohort Study at age 14 years (n=3899). Sleep duration and ST were self-reported, and MVPA was measured. A behavioural risk score of zero was applied when all recommendations were met (>8 hours of sleep on a school night, ST ≤2 hours per day, and MVPA ≥60 minutes/day). The likelihood of having a behavioural risk score of zero was examined according to household income, depressive symptoms, and obesity; and analyses were stratified by sex.

Results included:

  • 9.7% met recommendations for sleep, ST, and MVPA concurrently
  • 21.6% met guidelines for both sleep and ST, 36.3% for both sleep and MVPA, and 10.5% for both ST and MVPA
  • Adolescent girls from the highest income bracket (compared with girls from the lowest) were more likely to meet all 3 recommendations. Additionally, adolescent girls with depressive symptoms were less likely to meet all 3 recommendations.
  • Adolescent boys who were obese (compared with those of normal body mass index) and those with depressive symptoms (compared with those without depressive symptoms) were less likely to meet all 3 recommendations.

Similar to a study of US adolescents, this study showed several factors influencing whether boys and girls in the UK meet sleep, ST and MVPA guidelines and validate the need for more robust measures to understand these associative pathways. The evidence may help to inform targeted interventions and policy.


Posted: 30/08/2019 14:17:49 by Deirdre Brennan
Filed under: adolescents, guidelines, physical activity, screen-time, Sleep


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