The role of recreational online activities in school-based screen time sedentary behaviour interventions for adolescents: a systematic and critical literature review

Throuvala, M.A. ORCID: 0000-0003-4617-5263, Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, Rennoldson, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-7131-8740 and Kuss, D.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-8917-782X, 2021. The role of recreational online activities in school-based screen time sedentary behaviour interventions for adolescents: a systematic and critical literature review. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 19, pp. 1065-1115. ISSN 1557-1874

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Sedentary behaviours are highly associated with obesity and other important health outcomes in adolescence. This paper reviews screen time and its role within school-based behavioural interventions targeting adolescents between the years 2007 and 2019. A systematic literature review following PRISMA guidelines was conducted across five major databases to identify interventions targeting screen time—in addition to TV/DVD viewing. The review identified a total of 30 papers analysing 15 studies across 16 countries aiming at addressing reduction of recreational screen time (internet use and gaming) in addition to television/DVD viewing. All of the interventions focused exclusively on behaviour change, targeting in the majority both reduction of sedentary behaviours along with strategies to increase physical activity levels. A mix of intervention effects were found in the reviewed studies. Findings suggest aiming only for reduction in time spent on screen-based behaviour within interventions could be a limited strategy in ameliorating excessive screen use, if not targeted, in parallel, with strategies to address other developmental, contextual and motivational factors that are key components in driving the occurrence and maintenance of adolescent online behaviours. Additionally, it raises the need for a differential treatment and assessment of each online activity within the interventions due to the heterogeneity of the construct of screen time. Recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of school-based sedentary behaviour interventions and implications for public policy are discussed.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Creators: Throuvala, M.A., Griffiths, M.D., Rennoldson, M. and Kuss, D.J.
Publisher: Springer
Date: August 2021
Volume: 19
ISSN: 1557-1874
Rights: © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 02 Mar 2020 10:59
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2021 15:04

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