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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Within- and between-day associations between children’s sitting and physical activity time

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Nicola D. Ridgers, Anna Timperio, Ester Cerin, Jo Salmon
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

NDR, JS and AT designed the PHASE Study from which the data are drawn. NDR secured the funding. NDR conducted the study and performed the data reduction. NDR and EC conducted the statistical analyses. NDR wrote the manuscript. AT, EC and JS critically reviewed and revised the manuscript. All authors agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work and read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

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The objective of this study was to examine whether increased levels of sitting time and physical activity in one period (within-day) or on one day (between-day) were predictive of lower levels in these behaviours in the following period or day among children.


Children aged 8–11 years from 8 primary schools located in Melbourne, Australia, wore an activPAL for 7 consecutive days (n = 235; 53 % boys). Sitting, standing and stepping time were derived for each day and for specific periods on weekdays and weekend days. Multilevel analyses were conducted using generalised linear latent and mixed models to estimate associations between temporally adjacent values (i.e. pairs of days; pairs of periods within-days) between the outcome variables.


Significant associations were observed between temporally adjacent days and periods of the day. On any given day, an additional 10 min of stepping was associated with fewer minutes of stepping (~9 min; 95 % CI: −11.5 to −6.2 min) and standing (15 min; 95 % CI: −18.8 to −11.1 min) the following day. Greater time spent sitting during one period, regardless of being a weekday or weekend day, was associated with less time sitting and more time standing and stepping in the following period.


The direction of the results suggest that children appeared to compensate for increased sitting, standing, and stepping time both within- and between-days. The implications of such associations for the design and delivery of interventions require consideration.
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