Saturday, June 13, 2015

Breaking up sitting time among schoolchildren

Children sit too much and too long. Especially prolonged sitting may be detrimental to health, and breaking up sitting time -i.e. introducing short interruptions of sitting-, may be health promoting. There are currently no studies available reporting intervention effects on breaking up children’s sedentary time. In a study just published in Paediatric Exercise Science, with Dr. Maite Verloigne as first author, we examined the 'UP4FUN' intervention's effect on objectively measured number of breaks in sedentary time, number of sedentary bouts (≥ 10 mins) and total and average amount of time spent in those sedentary bouts among 10- to 12-year-old Belgian children. The total sample included 354 children (mean age: 10.9 ± 0.7years; 59% girls) with valid ActiGraph accelerometer data at pre- and posttest.
Only few and small intervention effects were found, namely on total time spent in sedentary bouts immediately after school hours and on average time spent in sedentary bouts before school hours ( and immediately after school hours in favor of children from intervention schools. Unexpectedly, girls from intervention schools decreased the number of breaks during school hours and increased the number of sedentary bouts on a weekend day, whereas girls in control schools showed an increase in number of breaks and a decrease in number of bouts. In conclusion, UP4FUN did not have a consistent or substantial effect on breaking up children’s sedentary time and these data suggest that more intensive and longer lasting interventions are needed.