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Uniwersytet SWPS - Logo

Psychosocial Determinants and Consequences of Sedentary Behavior

Psychosocial determinants and consequencesof sedentary behavior

principal investigator
Monika Boberska
Ph.D. / Assistant Professor

Psychologist, specializing in health behavior change

Full bio
project value: PLN 81,676
funding source : National Science Center
discipline: psychology
research center: SWPS University
location: Wrocław
duration: 2018 2019

By now, we know quite a lot about a healthy lifestyle. Numerous studies indicate that a sedentary lifestyle is conducive to being overweight and it has a negative impact on mental health. The ubiquitous presence of computers, tablets, and smartphones multiplies excuses to exchange physical activity for hours spent in front of a screen. It is especially worrying in the case of children, because behavior habits form in childhood. Therefore, the role of parents is crucial to appropriately balance child’s screen time and time spent on physical activity.

 

RESEARCH PROJECT

Psychosocial determinants and consequences

of sedentary behavior

Research UnitUNI SWPS english
Grant Amount  PLN 81 676
Funding SourceNCN logo poziom en2

Duration of Research Project: 2018–2019

 

By now, we know quite a lot about a healthy lifestyle. Numerous studies indicate that a sedentary lifestyle is conducive to being overweight and it has a negative impact on mental health. The ubiquitous presence of computers, tablets, and smartphones multiplies excuses to exchange physical activity for hours spent in front of a screen. It is especially worrying in the case of children, because behavior habits form in childhood. Therefore, the role of parents is crucial to appropriately balance child’s screen time and time spent on physical activity.

Project Description

Over the recent years, researchers have observed an increased tendency for sedentary behavior among children and adults. In particular, people spend more and more time engaging in predominantly sedentary activities such as watching TV, and using computer tablets or smartphones. Studies conducted to date indicate that an increasing level of sedentary behaviors is accompanied by a decrease in physical activity.

The aim of this meta-analysis was to summarize the existing empirical evidence on the correlation between the amount of time spent sitting and the quality of life, among children and adults, and in the population of healthy and chronically ill people. The findings indicate a significant relationship between the amount of time spent sitting and the quality of life in the physical domain, including factors such as pain, discomfort, physical energy and fatigue. People who spend less time sitting are significantly more satisfied with their health and physical well-being and report fewer health problems. Importantly, this relationship was found not only among chronically ill, but also among healthy people. Among the healthy individuals, the amount of time spent sitting was associated with lower quality of life in emotional domain, which means that the more time people spend sitting, the lower quality of life they report and they are less satisfied with their emotional or mental well-being.

 

Our research project showed a significant link between screen time, the BMI, and the level of body fat in children. Additionally, the study indicated that the role of parents in limiting screen time and encouraging children to engage in physical activity is crucial in decreasing children's body weight and an improvement in overall child's well-being.

Boberska, Monika Principal Investigator
Bio
Tak
Specialization
Psychologist, specializing in health behavior change
Permanent employee
Tak
First and last name
Monika Boberska
Academic degree or title
Ph.D. / Assistant Professor
City
wroclaw
Discipline
psychology
Faculty
Faculty of Psychology in Wrocław
Position
adiunkt
Role in the Faculty
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Role in the Institute
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Role in the Research Center
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Institute
Array
Role in the Department
[]
Ph.D. / Assistant Professor Monika BoberskaPsychologist, specializing in health behavior change

 

Project Results

The growing body of evidence, which indicates a significant link between the amount of time spent on sedentary behavior and well-being, has prompted researchers to look for modifiable factors that can help to reduce time spent on sitting behavior.

The study was conducted on 879 children and their parents. It indicated that the children who declared that their parents limited their screen time, had less body fat after 7 to 8 months. Additionally, the study showed that a higher number screen devices (TVs, computers, tablets, smartphones) available in the home environment was linked with more screen time per child and, consequently, higher body fat of these children, measured after 7 to 8 months.

Another study indicated that maternal practices shaped the behavior of children. The recommendations were that mothers should monitor the amount of screen time available to their children, and should encourage children to take part in physical activities. Application of these parental rules is crucial not only for the child’s behavior (screen time versus physical activity), but also the child’s Body Mass Index (BMI).

However, it should be noted that pushing the child to be active may cause the reactance effect and ultimately increase the probability of unwanted behavior (i.e., higher levels of screen use).

Publications

  • Boberska, M., Szczuka, Z., Kruk, M., Knoll, N., Keller, J., Hohl, D. H., & Luszczynska, A. (2018). Sedentary behaviors and health-related quality of life. A systematic review and meta-analysis. Health Psychology Review, 12, 195-210. https://doi.org/10.1080/17437199.2017.1396191
  • Boberska, M., Horodyska, K., Kruk, M., Knoll, N., Hohl, D. H., Keller, J., & Luszczynska, A. (2019). Parental strategies restricting screen use among children, screen home environment, and child screen use as predictors of child body fat: A prospective parent-child study. British Journal of Health Psychology, 24 , 298-314.https://doi.org/10.1111/bjhp.12354
  • Boberska, M., Zarychta, K., Knoll, N., Keller, J., Hohl, D. H, Horodyska, K., Kruk, M., & Luszczynska, A. (2020). Maternal practices and perceptions of child body mass status explain child energy expenditure behaviors and body mass. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-020-00138-1
  • Kruk., M, Zarychta, K., Horodyska, K., Boberska, M., Scholz, U., Radtke, T., & Luszczynska, A, (2019). What comes first, negative emotions, positive emotions, or moderate-to vigorous physical activity? Mental Health and Physical Activity, 16, 38-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mhpa.2019.03.002
  • Zarychta, K., Banik, A., Kulis, E., Boberska, M., Radtke, T.,Chan, C. K. Y., Lobczowska, K., &Luszczynska, A. (2020). Do parent-child dyads with excessive body mass differ from dyads with normal body mass in perceptions of obesogenic environment? Nutrients, 12, 2149.doi:10.3390/nu12072149