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To what extent are movement behaviours associated with emotional well-being in grades four and five children? Results from the Optimizing Movement in Children Study Reimer, Renée Christine

Abstract

The potential mechanisms driving the optimal, healthy physical and psychological development of children have been studied extensively (Janssen et al., 2010; Milteer, Ginsburg, & Mulligan, 2012; Parfitt & Eston, 2005). Specific movement behaviours, including physical activity, sedentary time, and sleep have been studied independently to examine their influence on health outcomes. Emotional well-being, which encompasses a variety of psychological concepts including optimism, general self-concept, satisfaction with life, and sadness, is considered an important element in the healthy development of children (Guerra & Bradshaw, 2008). This study examined the extent to which four objectively-measured movement behaviours – light physical activity (LPA), moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), sedentary time, and sleep – are associated with emotional well-being in a sample of grades four and five children (N = 21). This study had three objectives: 1) to examine independent associations between the four separate movement behaviours and emotional well-being, 2) to examine the relationship between one movement behaviour and emotional well-being relative to time spent in other movement behaviours using compositional analysis, and 3) to examine whether time spent in sedentary screen activities versus non-screen sedentary activities moderated the relationship between objectively-measured sedentary time and emotional well-being. For objective 1, among the independent Spearman correlations, only MVPA was significantly and positively correlated with emotional well-being (ρ = 0.77, p < 0.001). Using compositional analysis for objective 2, no significant relationships were found between any one of the four movement behaviours and emotional well-being relative to time spent in other movement behaviours. Finally, for objective 3, no significant moderating effects were found for time spent in sedentary screen time versus non-screen sedentary time on the relationship between objectively-measured sedentary time and emotional well-being. This study concluded that objectively-measured MVPA was significantly and positively associated with emotional well-being in the sample; however, future studies with a larger sample size are recommended, as these findings were limited by a small sample size.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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