Naturally occurring changes in time spent watching television are inversely related to frequency of physical activity during early adolescence

Robert W. Motl, Edward McAuley, Amanda S. Birnbaum, Leslie A. Lytle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Scopus citations


In this longitudinal study, we examined the relationship between changes in time spent watching television and playing video games with frequency of leisure-time physical activity across a 2-year period among adolescent boys and girls (N = 4594). Latent growth modelling indicated that a decrease in time spent watching television was associated with an increase in frequency of leisure-time physical activity. That relationship was strong in magnitude and independent of sex, socioeconomic status, smoking, and the value participants placed on health, appearance, and achievement. Our results encourage the design of interventions that reduce television watching as a possible means of increasing adolescent physical activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-32
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2006


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