International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 359–366 | Cite as

Are school factors and urbanization supportive for being physically active and engaging in less screen-based activities?

  • Jaroslava Kopcakova
  • Zuzana Dankulincova Veselska
  • Andrea Madarasova Geckova
  • Daniel Klein
  • Jitse P. van Dijk
  • Sijmen A. Reijneveld
Original Article



The aim was to assess the association between physical activity and screen-based activities in adolescents and selected school factors and urbanization and whether these associations were modified by degree of urbanization.


We obtained data regarding the fifth–ninth grade students from 130 schools in 2014 via the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children cross-sectional study in Slovakia (n = 9743, mean age = 13.5, 50.3% boys). We explored the associations using multilevel logistic regression.


We found significant associations between physical activity and the accessibility of an area for skating/tennis court [odds ratio (OR) = 1.20 and 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01–1.42], and between physical activity and active breaks (OR = 0.83 and 95% CI 0.69–0.99). The rates of screen-based activities were higher in small towns (OR = 1.63, 95% CI 1.29–2.06), towns (OR = 1.30, 95% CI 1.08–1.57), and cities (OR = 1.40, 95% CI 1.04–1.87) than in villages.


School environment and degree of urbanization are associated with adolescents’ physical activity and screen-based activities. This holds positively for access to an area for skating/tennis court and negatively for active breaks regarding physical activity and for living in villages regarding less use of screens.


Physical activity Screen-based activities Accessibility of sports facilities at school Active breaks Degree of urbanization Adolescence 



This research was supported by the Slovak Research and Development Support Agency under Contract No. APVV-0032-11 and APVV-15-0012. This work was also supported by the Scientific Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak Academy of Sciences, reg. no. 1/0981/15 and reg. no. 1/0427/17.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Medical Faculty at the P. J. Safarik University in Kosice. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaroslava Kopcakova
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zuzana Dankulincova Veselska
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrea Madarasova Geckova
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Daniel Klein
    • 4
  • Jitse P. van Dijk
    • 2
    • 3
    • 5
  • Sijmen A. Reijneveld
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Health Psychology, Faculty of MedicineP. J. Safarik University in KosiceKosiceSlovak Republic
  2. 2.Graduate School Kosice Institute for Society and HealthP. J. Safarik University in KosiceKosiceSlovak Republic
  3. 3.Olomouc University Social Health InstitutePalacky University in OlomoucOlomoucCzech Republic
  4. 4.Institute of Mathematics, Faculty of Natural SciencesP. J. Safarik University in KosiceKosiceSlovak Republic
  5. 5.Department of Community and Occupational Medicine, University Medical Center GroningenUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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