Social Vulnerability as a Predictor of Physical Activity and Screen Time in European Children

Isabel Iguacel*, Juan M. Fernández-Alvira, Karin Bammann, Charalambos Chadjigeorgiou, Stefaan de Henauw, Regina Heidinger-Felső, Lauren Lissner, Nathalie Michels, Angie Page, Lucia A. Reisch, Paola Russo, Ole Sprengeler, Toomas Veidebaum, Claudia Börnhorst, Luis A. Moreno

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objectives: To examine associations between social vulnerabilities and meeting physical activity (PA) and screen time (ST) recommendations during a 2-year follow-up. Methods: 13,891 children aged 2.0 to < 9.9 from eight European countries were assessed at baseline and 8482 children at follow-up. Children’s sports club membership, PA and ST were collected via parental questionnaires. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was objectively assessed with accelerometers. Performing at least 1 h of MVPA daily and spending less than 2 h of ST defined physically active and non-sedentary children, respectively. Vulnerable groups were defined at baseline as children whose parents had minimal social networks, from non-traditional families, with migrant origin or with unemployed parents. Logistic mixed-effects analyses were performed adjusting for classical socioeconomic indicators. Results: Children whose parents had minimal social networks had a higher risk of non-compliance with PA recommendations (subjectively assessed) at baseline. Migrants and children with unemployed parents had longer ST. All vulnerable groups were less likely to be sports club members. Conclusions: Migrants and children with unemployed parents are at risk for excessive ST and all vulnerable groups have lower odds of being sports club members.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)283-295
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Published online: 24. October 2017


  • Vulnerable groups
  • Physical activity
  • Accelerometry
  • Screen time
  • Children
  • IDEFICS study

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