Household-level correlates of children's physical activity levels in and across 12 countries

Deirdre M Harrington, Fiona Gillison, Stephanie T Broyles, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Mikael Fogelholm, Gang Hu, Rebecca Kuriyan, Anura Kurpad, Allana G LeBlanc, Carol Maher, Jose Maia, Victor Matsudo, Timothy Olds, Vincent Onywera, Olga L Sarmiento, Martyn Standage, Mark S Tremblay, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Pei Zhao, Peter T KatzmarzykISCOLE Research Group

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OBJECTIVE: Household factors (electronic media equipment, play equipment, physical activity in the home, and social support) have been associated with childhood moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA), but little is known about how these factors differ across diverse countries. The objective was to explore household correlates of objective MVPA in children from 12 countries.

METHODS: Overall, 5,859 nine- to eleven-year-old children from 12 countries representing a range of human and socioeconomic development indicators wore an accelerometer for 7 days and parents reported on household factors. Multilevel general linear models explored associations among household factors and MVPA variables controlling for age, sex, and parental education.

RESULTS: Across sites, children with at least one piece of bedroom electronic media had lower MVPA (∼4 min/day; P < 0.001) than those who did not. More frequent physical activity in the home and yard, ownership of more frequently used play equipment, and higher social support for physical activity were associated with more MVPA (all P < 0.001). The association between play equipment ownership and MVPA was inconsistent across countries (interaction P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: With the exception of play equipment ownership, modifiable household factors showed largely consistent and important associations with MVPA across high-, mid-, and low-income countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2150-2157
Issue number10
Early online date25 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


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