A systematic review of determinants of sedentary behaviour in youth: a DEDIPAC study

Annabel Steirlin, Sara De Leperleere, Greet Cardon, Patricia Dargent-Molina, Belinda Hoffman, Marie Murphy, Aileen Kennedy, Grainne O'Donoughue, Sebastien Chastin, Marieke de Craemer

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Sedentary behaviour (SB) has emerged as a potential risk factor for metabolic health in youth. Knowledge on thedeterminants of SB in youth is necessary to inform future intervention development to reduce SB. A systematicreview was conducted to identify predictors and determinants of SB in youth. Pubmed, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFOand Web of Science were searched, limiting to articles in English, published between January 2000 and May 2014.The search strategy was based on four key elements and their synonyms: (a) sedentary behaviour, (b) determinants,(c) types of sedentary behaviours, (d) types of determinants. The full protocol is available from PROSPERO (PROSPERO2014:CRD42014009823). Cross-sectional studies were excluded. The analysis was guided by the socio-ecological model.37 studies were selected out of 2654 identified papers from the systematic literature search. Most studies wereconducted in Europe (n = 13), USA (n = 11), and Australia (n = 10). The study quality, using the Qualsyst tool, was highwith a median of 82 % (IQR: 74–91 %). Multiple potential determinants were studied in only one or two studies.Determinants were found at the individual, interpersonal, environmental and policy level but few studies examined acomprehensive set of factors at different levels of influences. Evidence was found for age being positively associatedwith total SB, and weight status and baseline assessment of screen time being positively associated with screen time(at follow-up). A higher playground density and a higher availability of play and sports equipment at school wereconsistently related to an increased total SB, although these consistent findings come from single studies. Evidencewas also reported for the presence of safe places to cross roads and lengthening morning and lunch breaks beingassociated with less total SB. Future interventions to decrease SB levels should especially target children withoverweight or obesity and should start at a young age. However, since the relationship of many determinants with SBremains inconsistent, there is still a need for more longitudinal research on determinants of SB in youth.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Issue number133
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Dec 2015


  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Youth
  • Sedentary behaviour
  • Screen time
  • Sitting
  • Determinant


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