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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 148; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020148

Relationship between Sedentariness and Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity in Youth: A Multivariate Multilevel Study

CIFI2D, Kinanthropometry Lab, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Plácido Costa, 91, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal
Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Chicago, 5841 South Maryland Ave MC2000, Chicago, IL 6063-1447, USA
Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Viçosa (UFV), Avenida Peter Henry Rolfs, s/n, Campus Universitário, Viçosa, MG 36570-900, Brazil
Centre of Sports, Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Avenida César Seara-Carvoeira, Campus Universitário Trindade, Florianópolis, SC 88040-900, Brazil
Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, 6400 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808-4124, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 31 October 2016 / Revised: 7 January 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2017 / Published: 4 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [485 KB, uploaded 4 February 2017]   |  


This study aimed to jointly analyse moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentariness, and their correlates, in children within their school contexts, using a multivariate multilevel approach. The sample comprises 499 Portuguese children (284 girls) from 23 schools. MVPA and sedentary time were estimated by accelerometer. A set of predictor variables from both child and school levels was tested. Overall, schools explained a small amount of the total variance in both MVPA (5.6%) and sedentariness (3.2%), and a correlation coefficient of −0.45 (p < 0.05) was found between MVPA and sedentariness at the child level. Number of siblings and socioeconomic status (SES) were significantly associated with both sedentariness (SES: β = 2.372 ± 1.183; siblings: β = −8.127 ± 2.759) and MPVA (SES: β = −1.535 ± 0.421; siblings: β = 2.822 ± 0.977), but with opposite signs. Body Mass Index (BMI) (β = −4.804 ± 1.898) and sex (male) (β = 21.561 ± 3.496) were only associated with MVPA. None of the school correlates were statistically significant in their joint effects to simultaneously explain sedentariness and MVPA. These results suggest that although MVPA and sedentariness may be different constructs, they are correlated and this should be taken into account when designing strategies to reduce children’s sedentariness and increase their MVPA. In addition, the small effect of the school context on this relationship highlights the important roles of child and family characteristics. View Full-Text
Keywords: moderate-to-vigorous physical activity; sedentariness; school; multivariate multilevel analysis moderate-to-vigorous physical activity; sedentariness; school; multivariate multilevel analysis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gomes, T.N.; Hedeker, D.; dos Santos, F.K.; Souza, M.; Santos, D.; Pereira, S.; Katzmarzyk, P.T.; Maia, J. Relationship between Sedentariness and Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity in Youth: A Multivariate Multilevel Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 148.

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