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Associations between activity patterns and cardio-metabolic risk factors in children and adolescents: a systematic review

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-08-01, 00:00 authored by Simone Johanna Josefa Maria Verswijveren, Karen Lamb, Lisa Bell, Anna TimperioAnna Timperio, Jo SalmonJo Salmon, Nicky RidgersNicky Ridgers
INTRODUCTION: Total volumes of physical activity and sedentary behaviour have been associated with cardio-metabolic risk profiles; however, little research has examined whether patterns of activity (e.g., prolonged bouts, frequency of breaks in sitting) impact cardio-metabolic risk. The aim of this review was to synthesise the evidence concerning associations between activity patterns and cardio-metabolic risk factors in children and adolescents aged 5-19 years. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic search of seven databases was completed in October 2017. Included studies were required to report associations between objectively-measured activity patterns and cardio-metabolic risk factors in children and/or adolescents, and be published between 1980 and 2017. At least two researchers independently screened each study, extracted data, and undertook risk of bias assessments. RESULTS: From the 15,947 articles identified, 29 were included in this review. Twenty-four studies were observational (cross-sectional and/or longitudinal); five were experimental. Ten studies examined physical activity patterns, whilst 19 studies examined sedentary patterns. Only one study examined both physical activity and sedentary time patterns. Considerable variation in definitions of activity patterns made it impossible to identify which activity patterns were most beneficial to children's and adolescents' cardio-metabolic health. However, potential insights and current research gaps were identified. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: A consensus on how to define activity patterns is needed in order to determine which activity patterns are associated with children's and adolescents' cardio-metabolic risk. This will inform future research on the impact of activity patterns on children's and adolescents' short- and longer-term health.



PLoS One





Article number



1 - 20


Public Library of Science (PLoS)


San Francisco, Calif.





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, Verswijveren et al.