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What is sedentary behaviour?

Sedentary behaviour is not simply a lack of physical activity but is a cluster of individual behaviours where sitting or lying is the dominant posture and energy expenditure is very low.

“Sedentary behaviour refers to any waking activity characterized by an energy expenditure ≤ 1.5 metabolic equivalents and a sitting or reclining posture. In general this means that any time a person is sitting or lying down, they are engaging in sedentary behaviour” (Sedentary Behaviour Research Network, 2016)

The concept of sedentary behaviour or sedentary time has rapidly evolved over recent years. Sedentary behaviours are multi-faceted and might include behaviours at work or school, at home, during transport, and in leisure-time. They include screen-time (TV viewing, computer use), motorised transport, and sitting to read, play, talk, eat, do homework, or listen to music.

Conversation starter

  • What do you think are the primary sedentary behaviours of young children in your country?

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This article is from the free online course:

Preventing Childhood Obesity: an Early Start to Healthy Living

University of Wollongong