Advertisement

Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 104, Issue 7, pp e479–e481 | Cite as

Why the Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines Should Reflect Sex and Gender

  • Anna Liwander
  • Ann Pederson
  • Ellexis Boyle
Commentary

Abstract

The world’s first evidence-based sedentary behaviour guidelines were released in Canada in 2011. Based on evidence that time spent in sedentary pursuits poses important health risks, the guidelines recommend limits on the time that children and youth are sedentary throughout the day. Although the guidelines reflect differences in age, they do not include recommendations for adults, nor engage with other important determinants of health such as sex and gender, despite research suggesting that girls and boys, women and men, engage in different sedentary behaviours. For example, it has been suggested that girls spend considerable time in communication-based sedentary behaviours such as talking on the phone, texting and instant messaging, while boys are more likely to watch television and videos, or play computer games. There is also evidence suggesting that the health outcomes associated with sedentary behaviour differ for females and males, and there are gendered social and economic barriers that may influence sedentary behaviour. It is therefore time to consider sex and gender in research and policy on sedentary behaviour in order to effectively reduce time spent sedentary and to improve the health of women and men in Canada.

Key words

Sedentary behaviour sex gender health promotion policy 

Résumé

Les premières lignes directrices au monde sur le comportement sédentaire qui sont fondées sur des données probantes ont été publiées au Canada en 2011. Comme ces données montrent que le temps consacré à des activités sédentaires pose des risques importants pour la santé, les lignes directrices recommandent de limiter le temps où les enfants et les jeunes sont sédentaires pendant la journée. Bien que ces lignes directrices tiennent compte des différences d’âge, elles n’incluent pas de recommandations pour les adultes et n’abordent pas d’autres déterminants importants de la santé, comme le sexe et le genre, malgré les études qui tendent à montrer que les filles et les garçons, les femmes et les hommes, ont des comportements sédentaires différents. Les données montrent par exemple que les filles consacrent beaucoup de temps à des comportements de communication sédentaires, comme parler au téléphone, texter et envoyer des messages instantanés, tandis que les garçons ont plus tendance à regarder la télévision ou des vidéos ou à jouer à des jeux sur ordinateur. Les données montrent aussi que les résultats de santé associés aux comportements sédentaires diffèrent selon le sexe, et qu’il existe des obstacles sociaux et économiques sexospécifiques qui peuvent influencer la sédentarité. Il est donc temps d’examiner le sexe et le genre dans la recherche et les politiques sur les comportements sédentaires afin de véritablement réduire le temps consacré à des activités sédentaires et d’améliorer la santé des femmes et des hommes au Canada.

Mots clés

comportement sédentaire sexe genre promotion de la santé politique 

References

  1. 1.
    Katzmarzyk PT, Lee IM. Sedentary behaviour and life expectancy in the USA: A cause-deleted life table analysis. BMJ Open 2012;2(4).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Tremblay MS, Colley RC, Saunders TJ, Healy GN, Owen N. Physiological and health implications of a sedentary lifestyle. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2010;35(6):725–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines and Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines. Available at: https://doi.org/www.csep.ca/english/view.asp?x=949 (Accessed April 15, 2013).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Colley RC, Garriguet D, Janssen I, Craig CL, Clarke J, Tremblay MS. Physical activity of Canadian adults: Accelerometer results from the 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Health Rep 2011;22(1):7–14.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Colley RC, Garriguet D, Janssen I, Craig CL, Clarke J, Tremblay MS. Physical activity of Canadian children and youth: Accelerometer results from the 2007 to 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Health Rep 2011;22(1):15–23.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Shields M, Tremblay MS. Sedentary behaviour and obesity. Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada, 2008.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Leatherdale ST, Faulkner G, Arbour-Nicitopoulos K. School and student characteristics associated with screen-time sedentary behavior among students in grades 5–8, Ontario, Canada, 2007–2008. Prev Chronic Dis 2010;7(6):A128.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rosenberg DE, Norman GJ, Wagner N, Patrick K, Calfas KJ, Sallis JF. Reliability and validity of the Sedentary Behavior Questionnaire (SBQ) for adults. J Phys Act Health 2010;7(6):697–705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    te Velde SJ, De Bourdeaudhuij I, Thorsdottir I, Rasmussen M, Hagstromer M, Klepp KI, et al. Patterns in sedentary and exercise behaviors and associations with overweight in 9-14-year-old boys and girls–a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health 2007;7:16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    MacLeod KE, Gee GC, Crawford P, Wang MC. Neighbourhood environment as a predictor of television watching among girls. J Epidemiol Community Health 2008;62(4):288–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wilmot EG, Edwardson CL, Achana FA, Davies MJ, Gorely T, Gray LJ, et al. Sedentary time in adults and the association with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetologia 2012;55(11):2895–905.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dunstan DW, Barr EL, Healy GN, Salmon J, Shaw JE, Balkau B, et al. Television viewing time and mortality: The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab). Circulation 2010;121(3):384–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Atkin AJ, Adams E, Bull FC, Biddle SJ. Non-occupational sitting and mental well-being in employed adults. Ann Behav Med 2012;43(2):181–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Patel AV, Rodriguez C, Pavluck AL, Thun MJ, Calle EE. Recreational physical activity and sedentary behavior in relation to ovarian cancer risk in a large cohort of US women. Am J Epidemiol 2006;163(8):709–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Arem H, Irwin ML, Zhou Y, Lu L, Risch H, Yu H. Physical activity and endometrial cancer in a population-based case-control study. Cancer Causes Control 2011;22(2):219–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lynch BM. Sedentary behavior and cancer: A systematic review of the literature and proposed biologic mechanisms. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2010;19(11):2691–709.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s HealthVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Experimental MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Intersections of Mental Health Perspectives in Addictions Research Training (IMPART)VancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations