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

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  • Carson, V. et al (2017) BMC Public Health article

    Rights statement: © The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue numberSuppl 5
StatePublished - 20 Nov 2017


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: ¿sleep = -0.72; p = 0.138; WC: ¿sleep = -1.95; p = 0.285),
sedentary behaviour (BMI z-score: ¿SB = 0.19; p = 0.624; WC: ¿SB = 0.87; p = 0.614), LPA (BMI z-score: ¿LPA = 0.62; p = 0.213,
WC: ¿LPA = 0.23; p = 0.902), or MVPA (BMI z-score: ¿MVPA = -0.09; p = 0.733, WC: ¿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


  • sleep duration, sedentary time, physical actitvity, adiposity