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Longitudinal patterns of physical activity, sedentary behavior and sleep in urban South African adolescents, birth-to-twenty plus cohort

Hanson, S.K
Munthali, R.J
Micklesfield, L.K
Lobelo, F
Cunningham, S.A
Hartman, T.J
Norris, S.A
Stein, A.D
Adolescence is a critical phase of human development that lays the foundation for health in later life. Of the 1.8 billion adolescents in the world, roughly 90% live in low and middle-income countries. Yet most longitudinal studies of adolescent physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep come from high-income countries. There is a need for a better understanding of these behaviors to inform obesity and chronic disease prevention strategies. Aims The aim of this study is to identify longitudinal patterns and associations between physical activity, sedentary behavior and sleep in urban South African adolescents. Methods We analyzed data from the Birth-to-Twenty Plus Cohort (Bt20+), a longitudinal study of children in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa. Behaviors were self-reported annually between ages 12 and 17 y. We used Latent Class Growth Analysis to group participants into classes based on common longitudinal trajectories of time spent in informal physical activity, organized sports, walking to and from school, sedentary behavior, and school-night and weekend sleep, respectively. We performed group-based multi-trajectory modeling to identify latent clusters of individuals who followed similar trajectories of informal physical activity, organized sports and walking to and from school, and who followed similar trajectories of these three domains together with sedentary behavior and sleep. Results The large majority of males (82%) and all females failed to meet the World Health Organization (WHO) physical activity recommendation for adolescents of 60 min of moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity per day. The physical activity domains clustered together in three multi-trajectory groups that define individuals’ overall physical activity pattern. While two patterns indicated decreases in physical activity throughout adolescence, one pattern, including 29% of the sample in males and 17% of the sample in females, indicated higher levels of activity throughout adolescence. Sedentary behavior and sleep trajectories did not cluster together with the physical activity domains. Conclusion Most adolescents in this South African population did not meet WHO recommendations for physical activity. In this population, trajectories of sedentary behavior and sleep were independent of physical activity.
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Springer Nature
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Adolescent,Young people,Physical activity,South Africa
1. Hanson SK, Munthali RJ, Micklesfield LK, Lobelo F, Cunningham SA, Hartman TJ, Norris SA, Stein AD. Longitudinal patterns of physical activity, sedentary behavior and sleep in urban South African adolescents, Birth-To-Twenty Plus cohort. BMC Pediatrics. 2019;19(1):241. DOI: 10.1186/s12887-019-1619-z.
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