Impact of early-age TV watching on adult fitness

Haynes A, McVeigh J, Lester L, Eastwood PR, Straker L, Mori TA, Beilin L, Green DJ. Eur J Sport Sci. 6:1-23.

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Keywords: aerobic fitness, exercise test, sedentary behaviour, TV

What is already known about this subject:

  • Sedentary behaviour is now recognised as an independent risk factor for a range of negative health outcomes in both children and adults, whilst cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is associated with functional status and predicts mortality.
  • Our aim was to investigate whether TV watching habits throughout childhood and adolescence impacted upon CRF in adulthood, and whether the potential negative impact of TV watching on CRF was moderated by current physical activity (PA) levels.

What this study adds

  • Sample is Gen 2. Primarily utilising TV trajectories (derived from data collected at ages 5, 8, 10, 14, 17 and 20yrs), fitness and IPAQ data at age 28yrs.
  • Sedentary behaviour in childhood and adolescence negatively impacts upon adult fitness at the age of 28 years. However, this negative impact of historical sedentary behaviour on CRF can largely be negated by engaging in higher levels of PA.
  • As CRF is a strong independent predictor of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in adults, our data support recommendations to limit sedentary time in youth and to achieve and maintain a physically active lifestyle in adulthood
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