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Combinations of physical activity and screen time recommendations and their association with overweight/obesity in adolescents



To examine the four possible combinations of adherence to physical activity and screen time recommendations in adolescents and how the combinations relate to overweight and obesity.


A total of 9913 students in grades 7–12 were included in the present cross-sectional analyses. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), screen time, and body mass index were self-reported. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to test the associations between combinations of MVPA (≥ 60 min/day [active] or < 60 min/day [inactive]) and screen time (≤ 2 h/day [not sedentary] or > 2 h/day [sedentary]) recommendations with overweight/obesity.


We found that 53.1% of students in Ontario were considered “inactive+sedentary”, 23.7% were considered “inactive+not sedentary”, 12.1% were considered “active+sedentary”, and 11.1% were considered “active+not sedentary”. Some characteristics of “active+not sedentary” students (optimal category) included younger age, male gender, white ethnicity, higher socio-economic status, optimal sleep duration, and lower prevalence of cannabis use. After adjusting for relevant covariates, the “inactive+sedentary” group was more likely to report overweight/obesity than the “active+not sedentary” group (odds ratio [OR] = 1.71, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.26–2.32). The “inactive+not sedentary” group was also more likely to report overweight/obesity (OR = 1.54, 95% CI 1.20–1.97) while the “active+sedentary” group was not significantly associated with overweight/obesity (OR = 1.27, 95% CI 0.88–1.83).


Children meeting both the physical activity and screen time recommendations are less likely to be classified as overweight/obese compared with any other combination. Future efforts are needed to target both MVPA and sedentary behaviour to address public health concerns such as excess weight.



L’objectif de cette étude était d’examiner les quatre combinaisons d’adhérence aux recommandations en matière d’activité physique et du temps d’écran chez les adolescents ainsi que leur lien avec le surpoids et l’obésité.


Un total de 9 913 étudiants du secondaire ont été inclus dans cette analyse transversale. L’activité physique d’intensité moyenne à élevée, le temps d’écran et l’indice de masse corporelle ont été auto-rapportés. Une analyse de régression logistique multivariée a été utilisée pour tester les associations entre les combinaisons d’activité physique d’intensité moyenne à élevée (≥ 60 minutes par jour [actif] ou < 60 minutes par jour [inactif]), de temps d’écran (≤ 2 heures par jour [non sédentaire] ou > 2 heures par jour [sédentaire]) et le surpoids et l’obésité.


Nous avons observé que 53,1 % des étudiants de l’Ontario sont considérés « inactifs et sédentaires », 23,7 % sont considérés « inactifs et non sédentaires », 12,1 % sont considérés « actifs et sédentaires » et 11,1 % sont considérés « actifs et non sédentaires ». Les étudiants « actifs et non sédentaires » (catégorie optimale) étaient plus portés à être des garçons plus jeunes, de race blanche, de statut socioéconomique plus élevé, et dormant suffisamment et consommant moins de cannabis. Après ajustement statistique pour plusieurs variables d’intérêt, le groupe « inactif et sédentaire » était plus porté au surpoids et à l’obésité en comparaison au groupe « actif et non sédentaire » (rapport de cotes (RC) = 1,71, intervalle de confiance (IC) à 95 % = 1,26 − 2,32). Le groupe « inactif et non sédentaire » était aussi plus porté au surpoids et à l’obésité (RC = 1,54, IC 95 % = 1,20 − 1,97) tandis que le groupe « actif et sédentaire » n’était pas associé au surpoids ou à l’obésité (RC = 1,27, IC 95 % = 0,88 − 1,83).


Les adolescents qui rencontrent les directives canadiennes en matière d’activité physique et de temps d’écran sont moins portés à faire partie de la catégorie avec surpoids ou obésité que toute autre combinaison. Les stratégies futures doivent cibler non seulement l’activité physique mais également le comportement sédentaire pour lutter contre les problèmes de santé publique tels que l’excès de poids.

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The Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey is an initiative of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health that is funded by the ongoing support of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, along with targeted funding from various provincial agencies.

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Correspondence to Jean-Philippe Chaput.

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Ethics approval was granted by the Research Ethics Boards at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the 31 school board research review committees, and York University.

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Crowe, M., Sampasa-Kanyinga, H., Saunders, T.J. et al. Combinations of physical activity and screen time recommendations and their association with overweight/obesity in adolescents. Can J Public Health 111, 515–522 (2020).

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  • Exercise
  • Sedentary behaviour
  • Excess weight
  • Adolescents
  • Public health


  • Exercice
  • Comportement sédentaire
  • Excès de poids
  • Adolescents
  • Santé publique