Sedentary behaviour among Scottish youth: prevalence and determinants - Project STIL (Scotland)

A great deal of media coverage has been devoted to the issue of physical inactivity in children and young people. Do they watch too much TV and sit for too long at the computer? Does this mean that they do inadequate amounts of physical activity? These are key questions we do not have definite answers to. This project was established to investigate the amount and types of sedentary behaviour in Scottish adolescents and what factors are related to sedentary behaviour. Concurrent with this project, we collected data for the UK, through Project STIL (‘Sedentary Teenagers and Inactive Lifestyles’) but sampling estimates meant that only 4 schools in Scotland were assessed. There was a need, therefore, for a larger, more representative, Scottish sample for reliable estimates for the prevalence of sedentary behaviour. Additional funding was therefore offered in 2002 by the young People’s Programme at NHS Health Scotland to increase the size of the Scottish sample to make it more representative. Project STIL (Scotland) addressed two fundamental questions concerning sedentary behaviour outside school time in adolescent boys and girls in Scotland: • What is the prevalence of key sedentary behaviours in young people in Scotland? • What are the main determinants of sedentary behaviour?