Vaiva Balčiūnienė


Research background. The prevalence of obesity and chronic diseases among adolescents is rising rapidly in many Western European countries, including Lithuania (Zaborskis, Raskilas, 2011; Currie et al., 2012). Physical activity levels of children and adolescents have declined, whereas in contrast sedentary behavior has increased during the last few decades. In this study based on the cities and districts of Lithuanian population, leisure time physical activity and screen-based sedentary behaviors among 5–7th grade schoolchildren were assessed. The aim of the research was to evaluate association between screen-based sedentary behavior and leisure-time physical activity among Lithuanian 5–7th grade schoolchildren. Research methods and organization. Applying nested random selection / sampling method, 1117 schoolchildren of 5–7th grades from ten Lithuanian pro-gymnasiums, gymnasiums and secondary schools located in different cities and districts were selected. The study was conducted in 2013. The respondents were given a Questionnaire to identify schoolchildren’s demographic data, assess physical activity levels (recommended by the WHO) as well as the levels of time for screen-based sedentary behaviors. Results. In the survey it was established that only 23.3 % of schoolchildren were sufficiently physically active during their leisure time. The average length of TV watching was 3.30 ± 1.67 hours, playing computer 3.51 ± 1.86 hours and internet use 3.41 ± 1.85 hours on week-days. 7th grade girls engaged more frequently in TV watching as compared to 7th grade boys (p < 0.01). The time of playing computer games was higher among boys compared to girls (p < 0.001), but the time of internet use was higher among 6th grade girls compared to 6th grade boys (p < 0.05). The main factors that led to the lack of sufficient physical activity were female gender, senior grade and the higher time of playing computer games and searching the internet. Conclusions. The association between the time of screen-based sedentary behaviors and leisure time physical activity were determined. These study results encourage research of the relations between “exergame” and physical activity among schoolchildren. Keywords: physical activity, screen-based sedentary behaviors, schoolchildren.

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