Early childhood television viewing predicts explosive leg strength and waist circumference by middle childhood
1 Centre de Recherche de l’Hôpital Sainte-Justine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
2 École de psychoéducation, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
3 Département de médecine sociale et préventive, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
4 Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, H3C 3J7, Canada
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012, 9:87 doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-87Published: 16 July 2012
The relationship between early childhood television viewing and physical fitness in school age children has not been extensively studied using objective outcome measures.
Using a sample of 1314 children from the Québec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, we examine the association between parental reports of weekly hours of television viewing, assessed at 29 and 53 months of age, and direct measures of second grade muscular fitness using performances on the standing long jump test (SLJ) and fourth grade waist circumference.
Controlling for many potentially confounding child and family variables, each hour per week of television watched at 29 months corresponded to a .361 cm decrease in SLJ, 95% CI between -.576 and -.145. A one hour increase in average weekly television exposure from 29 to 53 months was associated with a further .285 cm reduction in SLJ test performance, 95% CI between -.436 and -.134 cm and corresponded to a .047 cm increase in waistline circumference, 95% CI between .001 and .094 cm.
Watching television excessively in early childhood, may eventually compromise muscular fitness and waist circumference in children as they approach pubertal age.