Learn more about the measures of sedentary behaviour across selected CLOSER studies
For background detail on this domain of physical activity, click here.
Sedentary behaviour was measured at ages ranging from 3y to 44y with data collected across MCS, ALSPAC, BCS70, NCDS, and NSHD. These measures centred on engagement with electronic devices including TV/video/DVD, computer or electronic gaming, general computer use, and internet use, with recall typically divided into weekdays and weekends.
Click to see the cross-study data availability and comparability for each sedentary behaviour subdomain:
MCS 3y, 5y, 7y, 14y, ALSPAC 3y, 4y, 5y, 6y, 8y, 13y, 16y, 22y, BCS70 5y, and 16y have asked similar questions on frequency of TV consumption during childhood/early adulthood although questions vary slightly across ages (i.e. MCS 7: “On a normal week day during term time, how many hours does CM spend watching television, videos or DVDs”; ALSPAC 6: “How much time on average does s/he spend watching tv”; BCS70 5y: “Hours per day watched television Mon-Fri and Sat-Sun”). Responses are comparable in duration (hours/day), with consumption differences examined from weekdays and weekends.
BCS70 42y and NCDS 44y both ask similar questions on TV consumption in midlife (i.e. BCS70: “Time spent watching television, videos, DVDs, blue-ray (including on a computer):”; NCDS: “Time spent on average during the last year: watching TV or videos?”) with responses comparable in duration (hour/day).
ALSPAC 9y, BCS70 10y, and NCDS 11y ask similar questions on the frequency of TV watching (i.e. ALSPAC: “When she finishes school and returns home does she watch TV or video”; BCS70: “How often does your child do this in spare time: watch TV”, NCDS: “Watching television after school hour”) with responses comparable in frequency (ranging from never to always).
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ALSPAC 8y, 16y, 22y, MCS 11y, 14y, and BCS70 16y ask similar questions on the frequency of electronic gaming (i.e. MCS 14: “On a normal week day during term time, how many hours do you spend playing electronic games on a computer or games systems, such as Wii, Nintendo D-S, X-Box or PlayStation?”; ALSPAC: “On a day when she does any of the things below, about how long altogether does she usually spend on: computer game (anyday)”; BCS70 16y: “After school yesterday, how long spent playing computer games?”) with all responses comparable in duration (hours/day).
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MCS 14y and ALSPAC 16y ask similar questions on internet usage (i.e. MCS: “On a normal week day during term time, how many hours do you spend using the internet?”; ALSPAC: “On a day when she does any of the things below, about how long altogether does she usually spend on: internet (for school/college), internet (non-school/college)”) with responses comparable in duration (hours/day).
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Explore the other domains of physical activity & the comparability of measurements across studies:
- Summary of cross-study comparisons
- Leisure time physical activity
- Occupational activity
- Active travel
- Domestic activities
Learn more about the studies covered by this guide and their measurement of physical activity:
- 1946 National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD)
- 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS)
- 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70)
- Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)
- Millennium Cohort Study (MCS)
- Understanding Society: The UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS)
- Acknowledgements and copyright information for this guide
- References for this guide
- Download the full guide as a PDF
- Electronic appendix: Index of all documented measures
This page is part of the CLOSER resource: ‘Physical activity across age and study: a guide to data in six CLOSER studies’.