alexa Sedentary Behaviour and Mental Health in Children and A
ISSN: 2375-4494

Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior
Open Access

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Research Article

Sedentary Behaviour and Mental Health in Children and Adolescents: A Meta-analysis

Mavis Asare*

Department of Psychology, Methodist University College Ghana, P.O. Box DC 940, Dansoman-Accra, Ghana

*Corresponding Author:
Mavis Asare
Department of Psychology, Methodist University College Ghana
P.O. Box DC 940, Dansoman-Accra, Ghana
Tel: +233 272 06 31 93
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: October 27, 2015 Accepted Date: November 12, 2015 Published Date: November 16, 2015

Citation: Asare M (2015) Sedentary Behaviour and Mental Health in Children and Adolescents: A Meta-analysis. J Child Adolesc Behav 3:259. doi:10.4172/2375-4494.1000259

Copyright: © 2015 Asare, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: A growing body of research is emerging examining the associations between sedentary behaviour and mental health in young people. The magnitude of the impact sedentary behaviour has on the mental health of young people has not been examined, though this has been investigated for physical health conditions. The aim of this article is to examine the associations between sedentary behaviour and mental health in young people aged 5-18 years of age using meta-analysis. Methods: Published studies in the English language were located via manual and computerised searches of PubMed, Science Direct, SPORTDiscus, PsychINFO, Medline, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar databases. Included were observational studies assessing an association between at least one sedentary behaviour and at least one aspect of mental health in young people aged 5-18 years. Effect sizes (ESs) were calculated for each study and an overall effect size was computed. Average effect sizes were also calculated for moderator variables. Results: Thirty-five studies were included (n=373,512); most studies examined screen-time as sedentary behaviour and five mental health outcomes were identified (depression, anxiety, self-esteem, psychological distress, and quality of life). The summary effect was small and significant (ES = -0.30, 95% confidence intervals = -0.20, -0.45, p<0.001), suggesting that sedentary behaviour is negatively associated with mental health in young people. Moderator analysis showed that television viewing had the largest effect size (ES = -0.47, 95% confidence intervals = -0.35, -0.62, p<0.001). Moreover, depression seems to be the main mental health outcome affected by sedentary behaviour (ES = 0.55, 95% confidence intervals = 0.42, 0.68, p<0.001). Conclusions: There was a small but a significant negative association between sedentary behaviour and mental health. High levels of sedentary behaviour are associated with increased depressive symptoms. This finding is consistent with a systematic review on adults which indicated that sedentary behaviour is significantly associated with mental health problems.


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