Sedentary time among spouses: A cross-sectional study exploring associations in 1 sedentary time and behaviour in parents of 5 and 6 year old children

Lesley Wood, Russ Jago, Simon Sebire, Jez Zahra, Janice Thompson

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Sedentary time is associated with obesity and is a risk factor for other adverse health outcomes. We examined how sedentary time and screen viewing (SV) behaviours in parents of young children are associated and whether associations differed for weekdays versus weekend days.

Data were from a cross sectional study (B-ProAct1v) based in Bristol, UK investigating associations between physical activity and SV in children and parents. Parents were eligible for analysis if they and their partner had both provided valid accelerometer data (290 dyads) or had both provided valid screen-viewing data (325 dyads). Multivariable regression models were used to examine associations of (a) sedentary behaviours and (b) self-reported time spent on weekdays and weekend days watching TV, using a PC, and using a phone in the dyads. Models were adjusted for the number of media items in the house, mothers’ age and body mass index, and household index of multiple deprivation.

Sedentary behaviour was lower at weekends than on weekdays for fathers and mothers. In contrast, the proportion of parents watching at least 2 h TV was higher on weekend days than on weekdays. Adjusted multivariable linear regression models suggested that 3 min of sedentary time on weekend days in fathers were associated with an additional minute of mothers’ sedentary time (B 0.38; 95 % CI 0.26 to 0.49). Logistic regression indicated that mothers’ screen use was positively predicted by fathers’ use (e.g., the odds of a mother watching more than 2 h TV on a weekend day were increased fivefold if the father also watched this amount OR 5.09, 95 % CI 3.30 to 7.86), except for PC use at weekends where the association was reversed and the odds of mothers using a PC for more than 30 min per weekend day was halved if the father used a PC for this amount of time (OR 0.45, 95 % CI 0.22 to 0.94).

Programmes that encourage at least one adult in the household to decrease sedentary behaviour and become more active, particularly at weekends, should be developed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number787
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Research Notes
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Date of Acceptance: 25/11/2015


  • Parent
  • Spousal behaviour
  • Cross-sectional
  • Sedentary time
  • Screen viewing


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  • B-PROACT1v

    Jago, R., Lawlor, D. A., Pool, L. H., Sebire, S. J., Thompson, J. L., Solomon-Moore, E. L., Macdonald-Wallis, C. M., Collison, L. G. & Salway, R. E.


    Project: Research, Parent

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