International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 54, Supplement 2, pp 191–198 | Cite as

Interrelationships of adolescent physical activity, screen-based sedentary behaviour, and social and psychological health

  • Ronald J. IannottiEmail author
  • Ian Janssen
  • Ellen Haug
  • Hanna Kololo
  • Beatrice Annaheim
  • Alberto Borraccino
  • the HBSC Physical Activity Focus Group
Original article



To examine how adolescent physical activity (PA) and screen-based media sedentary behaviours (SBM) relate to psychological and social health and identify cross-national differences in these relationships.


Associations were examined in five regions using two Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) countries from each.


Self-reported psychological and social health indices such as self-image, perceived health status, and Life Satisfaction were positively related to PA in all five regions but, with a few exceptions, negatively related to SBM. Negative health indices such as health complaints and tobacco use were negatively related to PA but, with exceptions, positively related to SBM. Significant regional differences were present.


Regional differences in correlates of PA and SBM suggest cultural differences in potential effects of PA and SBM and the need to tailor school and public health efforts to the different meanings of PA and SBM for positive and negative health consequences.


Physical activity Sedentary behaviour Life satisfaction Social relationships Health complaints Substance use 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald J. Iannotti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ian Janssen
    • 2
  • Ellen Haug
    • 3
  • Hanna Kololo
    • 4
  • Beatrice Annaheim
    • 5
  • Alberto Borraccino
    • 6
  • the HBSC Physical Activity Focus Group
  1. 1.Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, & Prevention Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/NIH/DHHSPrevention Research BranchBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Community Health and Epidemiology and School of Physical and HealthQueens UniversityKingstonCanada
  3. 3.Research Centre for Health PromotionUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  4. 4.Department of Child and Adolescent HealthInstitute of Mother and Child (NRIMC)WarsawPoland
  5. 5.Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug ProblemsLausanneSwitzerland
  6. 6.Department of Public HealthUniversity of TurinTurinItaly

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