Cross-sectional associations between sleep duration, sedentary time, physical activity, and adiposity indicators among Canadian preschool-aged children using compositional analyses

BMC Public Health. 2017;17(S5):123-131 DOI 10.1186/s12889-017-4852-0


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: BMC Public Health

ISSN: 1471-2458 (Online)

Publisher: BMC

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Public aspects of medicine

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Valerie Carson (Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta)
Mark S. Tremblay (Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute)
Sebastien F. M. Chastin (Institute for Applied Health Research, School of Health and Social Care, Glasgow Caledonian University)


Open peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 18 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Abstract Background Sleep duration, sedentary behaviour, and physical activity are three co-dependent behaviours that fall on the movement/non-movement intensity continuum. Compositional data analyses provide an appropriate method for analyzing the association between co-dependent movement behaviour data and health indicators. The objectives of this study were to examine: (1) the combined associations of the composition of time spent in sleep, sedentary behaviour, light-intensity physical activity (LPA), and moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) with adiposity indicators; and (2) the association of the time spent in sleep, sedentary behaviour, LPA, or MVPA with adiposity indicators relative to the time spent in the other behaviours in a representative sample of Canadian preschool-aged children. Methods Participants were 552 children aged 3 to 4 years from cycles 2 and 3 of the Canadian Health Measures Survey. Sedentary time, LPA, and MVPA were measured with Actical accelerometers (Philips Respironics, Bend, OR USA), and sleep duration was parental reported. Adiposity indicators included waist circumference (WC) and body mass index (BMI) z-scores based on World Health Organization growth standards. Compositional data analyses were used to examine the cross-sectional associations. Results The composition of movement behaviours was significantly associated with BMI z-scores (p = 0.006) but not with WC (p = 0.718). Further, the time spent in sleep (BMI z-score: γ sleep  = −0.72; p = 0.138; WC: γ sleep  = −1.95; p = 0.285), sedentary behaviour (BMI z-score: γ SB  = 0.19; p = 0.624; WC: γ SB  = 0.87; p = 0.614), LPA (BMI z-score: γ LPA  = 0.62; p = 0.213, WC: γ LPA  = 0.23; p = 0.902), or MVPA (BMI z-score: γ MVPA  = −0.09; p = 0.733, WC: γ MVPA  = 0.08; p = 0.288) relative to the other behaviours was not significantly associated with the adiposity indicators. Conclusions This study is the first to use compositional analyses when examining associations of co-dependent sleep duration, sedentary time, and physical activity behaviours with adiposity indicators in preschool-aged children. The overall composition of movement behaviours appears important for healthy BMI z-scores in preschool-aged children. Future research is needed to determine the optimal movement behaviour composition that should be promoted in this age group.