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Background: Given the obesity epidemic, it is critical to understand factors associated with youth physical activity and sedentary behavior at home, where youth spend significant time. We examined relationships between these child behaviors and home environment factors. Methods: Data were obtained from 713 children aged 6 to 11 in Washington and California 2007–2009. Multivariate regression analyses controlling for socio-demographics examined associations between parent-reported home environment factors and child's accelerometer-measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time, overall and at home, and parent-reported child screen time. Results: Children averaged 47.2% of time at home, which included 43.6% and 46.4% of overall MVPA and sedentary behavior, respectively. Parental support for physical activity and having a basketball hoop were positively associated with MVPA and negatively associated with sedentary behavior. Combined parental support and a basketball hoop was associated with even higher MVPA. Children with fewer bedroom media devices and more fixed play equipment had lower overall sedentary behavior and screen time than either factor alone. Findings were similar regardless of weight status. Conclusions: Physical and social home environment variables, especially when combined, were related to more child MVPA and less sedentary behavior. Results support addressing multiple home environment factors in childhood obesity prevention.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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