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Temporal and bidirectional associations between physical activity and sleep in primary school-aged children

journal contribution
posted on 2017-01-01, 00:00 authored by G E Vincent, Lisa BarnettLisa Barnett, D R Lubans, Jo SalmonJo Salmon, Anna TimperioAnna Timperio, Nicky RidgersNicky Ridgers
The directionality of the relationship between children's physical activity and sleep is unclear. This study examined the temporal and bidirectional associations between objectively measured physical activity, energy expenditure, and sleep in primary school-aged children. A subgroup of children (n = 65, aged 8-11 years) from the Fitness, Activity and Skills Testing Study conducted in Melbourne, Australia, had their sleep and physical activity assessed using the SenseWear Pro Armband for 8 consecutive days. Outcome measures included time spent in light-intensity physical activiy (LPA), moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA), activity energy expenditure (AEE), time in bed, total sleep time, and sleep efficiency. Multilevel analyses were conducted using generalized linear latent mixed models to determine whether physical activity on 1 day was associated with sleep outcomes that night, and whether sleep during 1 night was associated with physical activity the following day. No significant associations were observed between time in bed, total sleep time, and sleep efficiency with LPA, MVPA, and AEE in either direction. This study found no temporal or bidirectional associations between objectively measured physical activity, AEE, and sleep. Future research is needed to understand other sleep dimensions that may impact on or be influenced by physical activity to provide potential intervention targets to improve these outcomes.



Applied psysiology, nutrition and metabolism






238 - 242


NRC Research Press


Ottawa, Ont.





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, The Authors