Sheldrick MP, Maitland C, Mackintosh KA, Rosenberg M, Griffiths LJ, Fry R, Stratton G.

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2019) 16(21): 4178

Lay summary: This paper investigated the relationships between the physical environment and children’s sitting and physical activity at home in a cross-sectional observational study. The findings bring to light correlations between several previously unexplored physical factors within the home. The results of this study highlight the importance of targeting homes for future interventions since the children in this study spent a large proportion (67%) of their time at home sitting.

This lay summary was provided by Jaya Chaturvedi, member of HDR UK’s Early Career Researcher Committee 

Abstract: It is important to understand the correlates of children’s physical activity (PA) and sitting at home, where children spend significant time. The home social environment has an important influence; however, much less is known about the home physical environment. Therefore, the study aimed to assess relationships between the physical environment and children’s sitting and PA at home. In total, 235 child-parent dyads were included in the analyses. Children spent 67% of their time at home sitting. Linear regression analyses examined associations between physical home environmental factors obtained via an audit and children’s (55% girl, 10.2 ± 0.7) objective PA and sitting at home. Following adjustment for socio-demographics and social environmental factors, an open plan living area (OPLA), musical instrument accessibility and availability, and perceived house size were negatively and positively associated, whereas media equipment accessibility and availability was positively and negatively associated with sitting and standing, respectively. Additionally, an OPLA was positively associated with total and moderate-to-vigorous PA. Furthermore, sitting breaks were positively associated with objective garden size and negatively associated with digital TV. The physical home environment may have an important influence on children’s sitting, standing and PA at home; therefore, interventions that target this environment are needed.