Correlates of sedentary behaviours in preschool children : a review

Hinkley, Trina, Salmon, Jo, Okely, Anthony D., & Trost, Stewart G. (2010) Correlates of sedentary behaviours in preschool children : a review. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 7(66).

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Sedentary behaviour has been linked with a number of health outcomes. Preschool-aged children spend significant proportions of their day engaged in sedentary behaviours. Research into the correlates of sedentary behaviours in the preschool population is an emerging field, with most research being published since 2002. Reviews on correlates of sedentary behaviours which include preschool children have previously been published; however, none have reported results specific to the preschool population. This paper reviews articles reporting on correlates of sedentary behaviour in preschool children published between 1993 and 2009.


A literature search was undertaken to identify articles which examined correlates of sedentary behaviours in preschool children. Articles were retrieved and evaluated in 2008 and 2009.


Twenty-nine studies were identified which met the inclusion criteria. From those studies, 63 potential correlates were identified. Television viewing was the most commonly examined sedentary behaviour. Findings from the review suggest that child's sex was not associated with television viewing and had an indeterminate association with sedentary behaviour as measured by accelerometry. Age, body mass index, parental education and race had an indeterminate association with television viewing, and outdoor playtime had no association with television viewing. The remaining 57 potential correlates had been investigated too infrequently to be able to draw robust conclusions about associations.


The correlates of preschool children's sedentary behaviours are multi-dimensional and not well established. Further research is required to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the influences on preschool children's sedentary behaviours to better inform the development of interventions.

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ID Code: 72204
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: ISI Document Delivery No.: 666XO Times Cited: 22 Cited Reference Count: 55 Hinkley, Trina Salmon, Jo Okely, Anthony D. Trost, Stewart G. Australian Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing; APA; National Heart Foundation of Australia; sanofi-aventis; USDA [NRI 2008-04423]; NICHD [HD 55400] The authors would like to acknowledge the Australian Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing for funding the scientific background report that informed this review.TH was funded by an APA PhD Scholarship during the initial period of data collection.JS is funded by a National Heart Foundation of Australia and sanofi-aventis Career Development Award.ST is funded by USDA NRI 2008-04423 and NICHD HD 55400. Biomed central ltd London; <Go to ISI>://WOS:000283156200002
Keywords: physical-activity levels, iowa bone-development, young-children, socioeconomic-status, electronic media, outdoor play, television, childhood, association, overweight
DOI: 10.1186/1479-5868-7-66
ISSN: 1479-5868
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Hinkley et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Deposited On: 29 May 2014 01:02
Last Modified: 30 May 2014 04:04

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