Prevalence of sedentary behavior and its correlates among primary and secondary school students

Abstract Objective: To determine the students’ exposure to four different sedentary behavior (SB) indicators and their associations with gender, grade, age, economic status and physical activity level. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2013. The SB was collected using the HELENA instrument, composed by screen time questions (TV, video games and internet) and sitting activities on school opposite shift. The cut point of ≥2h/day was used to categorize the outcome. The Poisson regression was used for associations between the outcome and the independent variables (95% significance level), controlling for confounding variables and the possible design effect. Results: The sample was composed by 8661 students. The overall prevalence of SB was 69.2% (CI95% 68.1–70.2) on weekdays, and 79.6% (CI95% 78.7–80.5) on weekends. Females were more associated with the outcome, except to electronic games. Advanced grades students were more involved in sitting tasks when compared to the early grades. Older students were more likely to surf on net for ≥2h/day. Higher economic level students were more likely to engage in video games and internet. Active individuals were less likely to engage in SB on weekdays. Conclusions: The prevalence of SB was high, mainly on weekends. The associations with sex, age, grade and physical activity level should be considered into elaboration of more efficient interventions on SB control.