Longitudinal differences in levels and bouts of sedentary time by different day types among Australian toddlers and pre-schoolers

João Pereira, Rute Santos, Eduarda Sousa-Sá, Zhiguang Zhang, Jade Burley, Sanne L. C. Veldman, Dylan P. Cliff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The aim of the present study was to characterize sedentary time (ST) and sedentary bouts among young children, across a typical week and by day type (childcare days, non-childcare days and weekends), over a 12-month period. ST % (ST/accelerometer wear time*100) and number of sedentary bouts/hours were assessed using accelerometers at two time-points 12-months apart in 153 toddlers and 74 pre-schoolers. Differences between baseline and follow-up according to the whole week and the different day types were calculated using linear mixed models with adjustment for age, sex, socio-economic status and zBMI. During the weekend, toddlers had more 20–30 min/h sedentary bouts at follow-up than at baseline (MD: 0.03). In pre-schoolers, ST % (MD:-8.4), the number of 1–4 min/h (MD:-1.45), 5–9 min/h (MD: −0.46) and 10–19 min/h sedentary bouts (MD:-0.11) were lower at baseline, compared to follow-up, on non-childcare days; as were the number of 5–9 min/h sedentary bouts on weekends (MD:0.40). P < 0.05 for all. This study found that longer sedentary bouts (20–30 min/h) tended to decrease among toddlers and pre-schoolers, whereas ST and shorter sedentary bouts increased over 12-months, particularly among pre-schoolers on non-childcare weekdays. Non-childcare days, and home environment may be targeted for intervention to reduce ST and sedentary bouts among pre-schoolers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2804-2811
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of sports sciences
Issue number24
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Accelerometer
  • Early Years
  • Patterns
  • Sedentary Behaviour

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