Research Impact: Research has typically shown negative associations between sedentary behaviour and screen-time with depressive symptoms. The effect of the type and context of screen-time remains underexplored. This study utilised a subsample (n=422) of the Children’s Sports Participation and Physical Activity study to examine cross-sectional associations using adjusted linear regressions between self-reported weekly SB, categorised into mentally-active screen-time (e.g., computer use for fun), mentally-passive screen-time (e.g., television viewing) and mentally-active non-screen-based sedentary behaviours (e.g., reading) with depressive symptoms.
Results found when viewed as a whole, total sedentary behaviour was associated with higher depressive symptoms. When type and context were examined, only mentally-active screen-time (phone and computer use) was associated with higher depressive symptoms. This study highlights the differential and complex associations between total sedentary behaviour and context specific sedentary behaviour with depressive symptoms among Irish adolescents. There is justification for sedentary behaviour to be examined individually and contextually. To better understand the implications, future research needs to focus on a clearer classification of sedentary behaviour, longitudinal study designs, and improved measurement (device-measured and self-report). Overall, these findings add to the literature and may help inform sedentary behaviour guidelines that account for context and mode.
Forte, C., McDowell, C.P., Woods, C.B., Hallgren, M., O’Brien, W., Belton, SJ., Murphy, M.H., Powell, C., and Herring, M.P. Differential Associations of Total and Context-Specific Sedentary Time with Depressive Symptoms Among Adolescents: Results from Ireland’s CSPPA Study. Int.J. Behav. Med. (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-022-10133-2. Impact factor: 2.96; Q1