Physical activity and sedentary behaviors among Finnish youth.
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2007 ; 39: 1067-74.
PubMed ID : 17596773
PMCID : 0
There is general concern about the low level of physical activity and the high amount of time devoted to sedentary behavior among adolescents. This study aimed to determine the proportion of young Finns meeting the current guidelines for youth physical activity (>or= 60 min of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity per day) and TV viewing (< 2 h.d(-1)) and to examine associations between physical activity and different sedentary behaviors.
The study population consisted of 6928 boys and girls, members of the northern Finland birth cohort 1986 who, in 2001-2002, at age 15-16 yr, responded to a mailed questionnaire inquiring about their time spent in moderate to vigorous (MVPA), light (LPA), and commuting (CPA) physical activity, and different sedentary behaviors.
Fifty-nine percent of the boys and 50% of the girls reported 60 min or more of total physical activity per day. Only 23% of boys and 10% of girls reported 60 min of MVPA per day. Forty-eight percent of boys and 44% of girls reported more than 2 h of daily TV viewing. High amounts of TV viewing and computer use were associated with lower levels of physical activity in both genders.
Many adolescents exceeded the recommended level of TV viewing and did not meet current recommendations for health-related physical activity. The inverse associations of physical activity with TV viewing and computer use suggest that measures aimed to reduce sedentary behaviors may, at least partly, increase physical activity among youth.