Physical education, muscle strengthening exercise, sport participation and their associations with screen time in adolescents

Xiaoqing Hu, Clemens Drenowatz, Michael Duncan, Ran Bao, Sitong Chen, Jinsheng He, Yan Tang

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    Background/Objective: Physical activity (PA) has been suggested to reduce screen time. This study aimed to explore the associations of physical education (PE), muscle-strengthening exercise (MSE), and sport participation with screen time. Methods: A multi-cluster sampling design was used to select 13,677 school-attending adolescents that participated in the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance 2019 survey. Adolescents self-reported their frequency of PE attendance, participations in MSE, sport participation and hours for screen time. Additionally, participants provided demographic information including sex, age, race, grade, and weight status. Results: Collectively, there were beneficial associations between participating in MSE for 4 (OR = 1.31, CI: 1.02–1.68), 5 (OR = 1.65, CI: 1.31–2.08), 6 (OR = 2.23, CI: 1.47–3.36), 7 (OR = 1.62, CI: 1.30–2.01) days and video or computer game hours. Similarly, beneficial associations between participating in 1 team sport (OR = 1.23, CI: 1.06–1.42), 2 team sports (OR = 1.61, CI: 1.33–1.95), 3 or more team sports (OR = 1.45, CI: 1.16–1.83) and video or computer game hours were observed. Participating in 1 team sport (OR = 1.27, CI: 1.08–1.48), 2 teams sport (OR = 1.41, CI: 1.09–1.82), 3 or more team sport (OR = 1.40, CI: 1.03–1.90) also increased the odds for meeting guidelines for television viewing hours. Only 2 days of PE attendance (OR = 1.44, CI: 1.14–1.81) was significantly associated with video or computer game hours. Conclusion: The promotion of sports participation appears to be an important component for reducing excess screen time in adolescents. Further, MSE may have beneficial effects on reducing time spent on the computer and playing video games.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1100958
    Number of pages9
    JournalFrontiers in Public Health
    Early online date20 Feb 2023
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Feb 2023

    Bibliographical note

    © 2023 Hu, Drenowatz, Duncan, Bao, Chen, He and Tang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


    • Public Health
    • physical education
    • muscle activity
    • sport participation
    • television viewing time
    • video time
    • computer time


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