Background: Meeting daily guidelines for physical activity, screen time, and sleep duration is associated with a host of health indicators for youth. In this cross-sectional observational study, we investigated the associations between adherence to the movement guidelines and health-related outcomes among youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Methods: Parents of youth with ASD (10–17 years) from seven countries and regions were invited to provide online proxy-reports for child’s movement behaviors (i.e., physical activity, sleep and screen time), and health-related outcomes (i.e., body mass index [BMI], general health, and quality of life). A series of multiple linear regression analyses were used to examine the associations between meeting movement guidelines and health-related outcomes, adjusted for covariates.
Results: The final sample consisted of 1165 youth with ASD. Compared with youth meeting all three guidelines, a higher BMI z-score was observed in those who met no guidelines (B = 0.62, P = 0.04), “sedentary time only” (B = 0.60, P = 0.047), and “physical activity plus sleep only” (B = 0.85, P = 0.04). Compared with meeting all three guidelines, meeting no guidelines was associated with poorer general health (B = − 0.46, P = 0.02). Further, compared with youth meeting all three guidelines, a lower quality of life score was observed in those who met no guidelines (B = − 0.47, P = 0.02) and “physical activity only” (B = − 0.62, P = 0.03). Lastly, there were dose–response associations between the number of guidelines met and all three health-related outcomes (all Ptrend < 0.05).
Conclusions: In conclusion, meeting more 24-h movement guidelines was generally associated with more favorable health-related outcomes in youth with ASD. The low level of adherence to all three guidelines (2.0%) suggests the urgent need to promote the adoption of all the guidelines in this group.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Movement behavior
- Physical activity
- Screen time