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Sedentary Behaviour                                                        C


The proportion of children and youth who meet sedentary behaviour or screen-time guidelines.

India received a grade of C, which indicates that approximately half of children and youth meet sedentary behaviour guidelines

utilized accelerometer data showed that children aged 6 to 10 years (n=415) living in or around the city of Mysuru were sedentary for an average of 5.3 hours per day.28 A study conducted in the city of New Delhi showed that children and youth aged 8 to 15 years accumulated less than 1 hour/day of screen time (n = 307). Similarly, a study conducted in seven major urban centres (Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Surat) reported that children aged 3 to 11 years spent, on average, less than 1.4 hours/day watching television and less than 1 hour/week playing video games (n=1680). After reviewing the available data sources, a grade of C was assigned as it appears that approximately half of children and youth are meeting sedentary behaviour guidelines.

Sedentary behaviour refers to any waking activity characterized by an energy expenditure ≤ 1.5 metabolic equivalents and a sitting or reclining posture. Common sedentary behaviours include television viewing, playing video games, computer use (collectively termed "screen time"), driving automobiles, and reading.

According to accelerometry-based ISCOLE studies in the city of Bengaluru, children aged 9 to 11 years spent an average of nine hours of their waking time in sedentary pursuits (n=546 & n=433). A study that 

Children can be highly active and highly sedentary on the same day! Irrespective of the amount of physical activity children accumulate, they could still spend a lot of time in sedentary pursuits such as watching television. Taking this observation into consideration is important because increasingly, evidence suggests that independent of physical activity levels, sedentary behaviours are associated with increased risk of both physiological and psychological problems. Watching television for more than 2 hours per day has been associated with unhealthy body composition, decreased fitness, low self-esteem, and decreased academic achievement. Fortunately, evidence also suggests that decreasing any type of sedentary behaviour is associated with lower health risk in children and youth. Moreover, with evidence now emerging that sedentary behaviour embedded in childhood can continue through adolescence into adulthood, it is imperative to focus on curbing sedentary behaviour in children and youth.

Why should we encourage children and youth to be less sedentary?

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