Collings_Costa_et_al (2020) Object-measured sedentary time & PA in a bi-ethnic sample of young children- variation by socio-demogr temporal & perinatal factors.pdf (855.93 kB)
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Objectively-measured sedentary time and physical activity in a bi-ethnic sample of young children: variation by socio-demographic, temporal and perinatal factors

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posted on 18.11.2020, 12:09 by Paul J Collings, Sufyan A Dogra, Silvia CostaSilvia Costa, Daniel D Bingham, Sally E Barber
Background: Evidence suggests that South Asian school-aged children and adults are less active compared to the white British population. It is unknown if this generalises to young children. We aimed to describe variability in levels of physical activity and sedentary time in a bi-ethnic sample of young children from a deprived location. Methods: This observational study included 202 South Asian and 140 white British children aged 1.5 to 5y, who provided 3181 valid days of triaxial accelerometry (Actigraph GT3X+). Variability in sedentary time and physical activity levels were analysed by linear multilevel modelling. Logistic multilevel regression was used to identify factors associated with physical inactivity (failing to perform ≥180 min of total physical activity including ≥60 min moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day). Results: There were no significant ethnic differences in the overall levels of behaviours; South Asian and white British children spent half of daily time sedentary, just over 40% in light physical activity, and the remaining 7.5 to 8% of time in MVPA. Sedentary time was lower and physical activity levels were higher in older children, and levels of MVPA and vector magnitude counts per minute (CPM) were higher on weekends compared to weekdays. In South Asian children, sedentary time was lower on weekends. Sedentary time was lower and physical activity levels were higher in spring compared to winter in white British children, and in all seasons compared to winter in South Asian children. South Asian children born at high birth weight performed more MVPA, and in both ethnicities there was some evidence that children with older mothers were more sedentary and less active. Sedentary time was higher and light physical activity was lower in South Asian children in the highest compared to the lowest income families. South Asian girls performed less MVPA, registered fewer vector magnitude CPM, and were 3.5 times more likely to be physically inactive than South Asian boys. Conclusions: Sedentary time and physical activity levels vary by socio-demographic, temporal and perinatal characteristics in young children from a deprived location. South Asian girls have the most to gain from efforts to increase physical activity levels. Trial registration: The Pre-schoolers in the Playground (PiP) pilot randomized controlled trial is registered with the ISRCTN (ISRCTN54165860;


The studies used for this investigation have been financially supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) program grant for applied research (RP-PG-0407-10044), NIHR Public Health Research (PHR 11/3001/16), and NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire and the Humber. The Born in Bradford birth cohort study receives core infrastructure funding from the Wellcome Trust (WT101597MA) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Collaboration for Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for Yorkshire and Humber and Clinical Research Network (CRN) research delivery support. PJC is funded by a British Heart Foundation (BHF) Immediate Postdoctoral Basic Science Research Fellowship (FS/17/37/32937).



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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BMC Public Health




BioMed Central


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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by BioMed Central under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0). Full details of this licence are available at:

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Dr Silvia Costa. Deposit date: 16 November 2020

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