Correlates of sedentary behaviour in university students: a systematic review

Castro, Oscar and Bennie, Jason and Vergeer, Ineke and Bosselut, Grégoire and Biddle, Stuart J. H. (2018) Correlates of sedentary behaviour in university students: a systematic review. Preventive Medicine, 116. pp. 194-202. ISSN 0091-7435


High levels of sedentary behaviour are associated with negative health-related outcomes. However, there is limited evidence on the variables influencing sedentary behaviour in university students. The aim of this systematic review was to identify the intrapersonal, interpersonal, environmental, and time correlates of sedentary behaviour in university students. Records from 12 electronic databases were screened by two independent reviewers. Inclusion criteria included: (i) peer-reviewed articles written in English, Spanish, or French; (ii) studies including undergraduate or postgraduate university students; (iii) studies reporting on the association between sedentary behaviour and at least one variable. The protocol is registered in PROSPERO (CRD42017074198). A total of 126 studies published between 1994 and 2017 met the inclusion criteria. The primary measure of sedentary behaviour was self-reported screen time (61%), followed by total sitting time (28%). Most studies were cross-sectional (86%). After excluding high risk of bias studies (58%), only three intrapersonal variables were sufficiently investigated (≥4) to determine an association with sedentary behaviour: physical activity (negative association with sitting time), obesity markers (indeterminate associations with TV viewing), and gender - female (null associations with total sitting time and screen time). Overall, most of the reported correlates of sedentary behaviour were intrapersonal, non-modifiable factors. Further research on modifiable correlates covering all socio-ecologic levels is required to inform future intervention development. In addition, longitudinal studies are needed to enable the identification of determinants. Improvements in designing and reporting future studies are recommended to help strengthen the available evidence and facilitate future reviewing efforts.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version embargoed until 1 January 2020 (12 months) in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health and Wellbeing
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2019 01:25
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2019 01:36
Uncontrolled Keywords: sitting; sedentary time; college students; ecological model; intrapersonal; interpersonal; environmental
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10091-74350.1016/j.ypmed.2018.09.016

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