Levels and Correlates of Objectively Measured Sedentary Behavior in Young Children: SUNRISE Study Results from 19 Countries


Katharina E. Kariippanon, University of Wollongong
Kar A.R.H.A.U. Chong, University of Wollongong
Xanne Janssen, University of Strathclyde
Simone A. Tomaz, College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences
Evelyn H.C. Ribeiro, Universidade de São Paulo
Nyaradzai Munambah, Godfrey Huggins School of Medicine
Cecilia H.S. Chan, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Pw Prasad Chathurangana, University of Colombo Faculty of Medicine
Catherine E. Draper, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Asmaa El Hamdouchi, Université Ibn Tofail
Alex A. Florindo, Universidade de São Paulo
Hongyan Guan, Capital Institute of Pediatrics
Amy M.Y.S. Ha, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Mohammad Sorowar Hossain, Biomedical Research Foundation
Dong Hoon Kim, Korea Institute of Child Care and Education
Thanh Van Kim, Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine
Denise C.L. Koh, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Marie Löf, Linköpings Universitet
Bang Nguyen Pham, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research
Bee E.E.K. Poh, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
John J. Reilly, University of Strathclyde
Amanda E. Staiano, Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Adang Suherman, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia
Chiaki Tanaka, Tokyo Kasei-Gakuin University
Hong K.I.M. Tang, Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine
Mark S. Tremblay, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa
E. Kipling Webster, Augusta University
V. Pujitha Wickramasinghe, University of Colombo Faculty of Medicine
Jyh Y.H.E. Wong, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Anthony D. Okely, University of Wollongong

Publication Name

Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise


Purpose There is a paucity of global data on sedentary behavior during early childhood. The purpose of this study was to examine how device-measured sedentary behavior in young children differed across geographically, economically, and sociodemographically diverse populations, in an international sample. Methods This multinational, cross-sectional study included data from 1071 children 3-5 yr old from 19 countries, collected between 2018 and 2020 (pre-COVID). Sedentary behavior was measured for three consecutive days using activPAL accelerometers. Sedentary time, sedentary fragmentation, and seated transport duration were calculated. Linear mixed models were used to examine the differences in sedentary behavior variables between sex, country-level income groups, urban/rural settings, and population density. Results Children spent 56% (7.4 h) of their waking time sedentary. The longest average bout duration was 81.1 ± 45.4 min, and an average of 61.1 ± 50.1 min·d-1 was spent in seated transport. Children from upper-middle-income and high-income countries spent a greater proportion of the day sedentary, accrued more sedentary bouts, had shorter breaks between sedentary bouts, and spent significantly more time in seated transport, compared with children from low-income and lower-middle-income countries. Sex and urban/rural residential setting were not associated with any outcomes. Higher population density was associated with several higher sedentary behavior measures. Conclusions These data advance our understanding of young children's sedentary behavior patterns globally. Country income levels and population density appear to be stronger drivers of the observed differences, than sex or rural/urban residential setting.

Open Access Status

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Funding Sponsor

National Institutes of Health



Link to publisher version (DOI)