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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2016

The correlates of after-school sedentary behavior among children aged 5–18 years: a systematic review

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2016
Lauren Arundell, Elly Fletcher, Jo Salmon, Jenny Veitch, Trina Hinkley
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12889-015-2659-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

LA, EF, JS, JV and TH were involved in the conception and design of the paper. LA and EF were involved in the data collection and synthesis. All authors contributed to the writing of the paper and approved the final manuscript.



Children and adolescents spend a large proportion of the after-school period in sedentary behaviors (SB). Identifying context-specific correlates is important for informing strategies to reduce these behaviors. This paper systematically reviews the correlates of children’s and adolescents’ after-school SB.


A computerized literature search was performed in October 2015 for peer-reviewed original research journal articles published in English before October 2015. Eligibility criteria included: 1) sample aged 5–18 years; 2) quantified the amount of SB or component of this that the children/adolescents were performing after school; 3) a measure of SB as the dependent outcome; and 4) the association between potential correlates and after-school SB.


Data were synthesized in October 2015. Thirty-one studies met the eligibility criteria: 22 studies among children (≤12 years), six among adolescents (>12 years), two had a combined sample of children and adolescents and one cohort followed children from childhood to adolescence. Findings were separated by after-school location i.e. after-school programs (n = 4 studies) and unidentified locations (n = 27). There was insufficient evidence to draw conclusions on all but two of the 58 potential correlates: sex and age. Among children at unidentified locations there was a null association between sex (male) and overall after-school SB, a null association between sex (male) and after-school TV viewing, a positive association between age and overall after-school SB and an inconsistent association between age and after-school TV viewing. No correlates of after-school sedentary behaviour while at after-school programs were identified.


Only two correlates have been investigated frequently enough to determine an overall association; neither correlate is modifiable. Due to the lack of consistent investigation of potential correlates, further evidence is required to accurately identify potential intervention targets.

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Additional file 1: Table S1. Study characteristics. (DOCX 19 kb)
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