Are context-specific measures of parental-reported physical activity and sedentary behaviour associated with accelerometer data in 2-9-year-old European children?

Vera Verbestel*, Stefaan De Henauw, Karin Bammann, Gianvincenzo Barba, Charalambos Hadjigeorgiou, Gabriele Eiben, Kenn Konstabel, Eva Kovács, Yannis Pitsiladis, Lucia Reisch, Alba M. Santaliestra-Pasías, Lea Maes, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective 

The aim of the present study was to investigate if context-specific measures of parental-reported physical activity and sedentary behaviour are associated with objectively measured physical activity and sedentary time in children. 

Design 

Cross-sectional study. 

Setting 

Seven European countries taking part in the IDEFICS (Identification and Prevention of Dietary- and Lifestyle-induced Health Effects in Children and Infants) study. 

Subjects 

Data were analysed from 2-9-year-old children (n 5982) who provided both parental-reported and accelerometer-derived physical activity/sedentary behaviour measures. Parents reported their children's daily screen-time, weekly sports participation and daily outdoor playtime by means of the Outdoor Playtime Checklist (OPC) and Outdoor Playtime Recall Questions (OPRQ). 

Results 

Sports participation, OPC- and OPRQ-derived outdoor play were positively associated with accelerometer-derived physical activity. Television viewing and computer use were positively associated with accelerometer-derived sedentary time. All parental-reported measures that were significantly associated with accelerometer outcomes explained only a minor part of the variance in accelerometer-derived physical activity or sedentary time. 

Conclusions 

Parental-reported measures of physical activity and sedentary behaviour are not useful as a proxy for 2-9-year-old children's physical activity and sedentary time. Findings do not preclude the use of context-specific measures but imply that conclusions should be limited to the context-specific behaviours that are actually measured. Depending on the aim of the study, future research should carefully consider the choice of measurements, including the use of subjective or objective measures of the behaviour of interest or a combination of both.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)860-868
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Volume18
Issue number5
Early online date2 Jun 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

User-Defined Keywords

  • Accelerometer
  • Children
  • Physical activity
  • Proxy report
  • Sedentary behaviour

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