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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2012, Article ID 685430, 14 pages
Review Article

Intervening to Reduce Sedentary Behaviors and Childhood Obesity among School-Age Youth: A Systematic Review of Randomized Trials

School of Public Health at Hunter College, City University of New York, 2180 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10035, USA

Received 2 June 2011; Revised 9 August 2011; Accepted 12 August 2011

Academic Editor: Dale Bond

Copyright © 2012 May May Leung et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To assess the effectiveness of interventions that focus on reducing sedentary behavior (SB) among school-age youth and to identify elements associated with interventions' potential for translation into practice settings. Methods. A comprehensive literature search was conducted using 4 databases for peer-reviewed studies published between 1980 and April 2011. Randomized trials, which lasted at least 12 weeks, aimed at decreasing SB among children aged 6 to 19 years were identified. Results. Twelve studies were included; 3 focused only on SB, 1 focused on physical activity (PA), 6 were combined SB and PA interventions, and 2 studies targeted SB, PA, and diet. The majority of the studies were conducted in a school setting, while others were conducted in such settings as clinics, community centers, and libraries. Conclusions. Overall, interventions that focused on decreasing SB were associated with reduction in time spent on SB and/or improvements in anthropometric measurements related to childhood obesity. Several of the studies did consider elements related to the intervention's potential for translation into practice settings.